NetChain: Scale-Free Sub-RTT Coordination

NetChain: Scale-free sub-RTT coordination

NetChain won a best paper award at NSDI 2018 earlier this month. By thinking outside of the box (in this case, the box is the chassis containing the server), Jin et al. have demonstrated how to build a coordination service (think Apache ZooKeeper) with incredibly low latency and high throughput.

We’re talking 9.7 microseconds for both reads and writes, with scalability on the order of tens of billions of operations per second. Similarly to KV-Direct that we looked at last year, NetChain achieves this stunning performance by moving the system implementation into the network. Whereas KV-Direct used programmable NICs though, NetChain takes advantage of programmable switches, and can be incrementally deployed in existing datacenters.