Title: Co-designing networks and distributed systems with programmable switches

Abstract: In this talk, we will present a new paradigm that co-designs networks and distributed systems with the capability of emerging programmable switches for cloud infrastructures. In-network computing can be dated back to the 1990s with research proposals such as Active Networking, which did not take off due to software and hardware limitations. Now the time is ripe with the emergence of the Protocol-Independent Switch Architecture (PISA) and the real hardware products such as Barefoot Tofino, which demonstrate that programmable switches can be built with modern semiconductor technologies without sacrificing performance. Switches provide huge IO, and servers provide general-purpose computation and massive storage space. We tackle the rising yet fundamental question on the best way to design computer systems with these two types of devices, which have disparate but complementary capabilities. We describe two concrete systems: NetCache which leverages in-network caching to balance distributed storage, and NetChain which leverages in-network replication to enable low-latency coordination. We believe these two systems exemplify a new-generation of ultra-high throughput and ultra-low latency systems enabled by programmable switches.

Bio: Xin Jin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University. His research is in computer networks and distributed systems, with a focus on programmable networks, software-defined networking, and cloud computing. He received his BS in computer science and BA in economics from Peking University in 2011, and his MA and PhD in computer science from Princeton University in 2013 and 2016, advised by Professor Jennifer Rexford. After that he was a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley for one year, working in the AMPLab/RISELab with Professor Ion Stoica. He has received many awards and honors, including NSDI Best Paper Award (2018), Facebook Communications & Networking Research Award (2018), Siebel Scholar (2016), and Princeton’s Charlotte Elizabeth Procter Honorific Fellowship (2015).