Hardware-software co-design for network performance measurement

Srinivas Narayana, Anirudh Sivaraman, Vikram Nathan, Mohammad Alizadeh, David Walker, Jennifer Rexford, Vimalkumar Jeyakumar, Changhoon Kim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Diagnosing performance problems in networks is important, for example to determine where packets experience high latency. However, existing diagnostic tools are constrained by limited switch mechanisms for measurement. As a result, operators use endpoint information to indirectly infer root causes for performance issues. Instead of designing piecemeal solutions to work around limited switch mechanisms, we believe that the right approach is to co-design language abstractions and switch hardware primitives for performance measurement. This approach provides confidence that the switch primitives are useful for a variety of existing and unanticipated use cases. We present a declarative query language that allows operators to ask a diverse set of network performance questions. We show that these queries can be implemented efficiently in switch hardware using a programmable key-value store primitive. Our preliminary evaluations show that our hardware design incurs modest additional chip area relative to existing switching chips, suggesting that it is a practical solution for network performance measurement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHotNets 2016 - Proceedings of the 15th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450346610
StatePublished - Nov 9 2016
Event15th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks, HotNets 2016 - Atlanta, United States
Duration: Nov 9 2016Nov 10 2016

Publication series

NameHotNets 2016 - Proceedings of the 15th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks


Other15th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks, HotNets 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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