Fast Code Seminar: The Case for Network Ordering in Distributed Systems Design [Location updated to 32-G882]

Speaker: Jialin Li , National University of Singapore

Date: Thursday, April 20, 2023

Time: 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM Note: all times are in the Eastern Time Zone

Public: Yes

Location: 32-G882

Event Type: Seminar

Room Description: 32-G882

Host: Adam Belay, Julian Shun

Contact: Linda Lynch,

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Reminder Subject: TALK: The Case for Network Ordering in Distributed Systems Design

This is hybrid meeting. The physical room is 32-G882. The Zoom registration link is

******************IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT ONLINE REGISTRATION******************
- The registration link for 2023 is the same as the link from 2022.
- Please save the Zoom link that you receive after you register. This link will stay the same for all subsequent Fast Code seminars.
- Zoom does not recognize a second registration, and will not send out the link a second time. The organizers will not be notified of any second registration.
- If you have any problems with registration, please contact by 12pm on the day of the seminar, so that we can try to resolve it before the seminar begins.

Abstract: Traditionally, distributed systems are designed with minimum
assumptions about the underlying network: The network is assumed to
only provide best-effort guarantees and is fully asynchronous.
Application-level protocols, such as Paxos and two phase
locking/commit, are then responsible for ensuring the correctness and
liveness of the system. Unfortunately, weak guarantees of the network
often result in distributed protocols with complex message exchanges,
limiting the overall performance of the system.

In this talk, I will introduce a new approach to designing distributed
systems by strengthening the network and co-designing it with
distributed protocols. Specifically, our work has leveraged
new-generation programmable devices to build novel and highly
efficient network-level primitives that offer strong guarantees. We
then leverage these primitives to enable more efficient protocol and
system designs. I will describe several systems we built that
demonstrate the benefit of this approach. The first two,
Network-Ordered Paxos and Eris, virtually eliminate the coordination
overhead in state machine replication and fault-tolerant distributed
transactions, by relying on network sequencing primitives to
consistently order user requests. The third system, Hydra, overcomes
the limitations of a centralized network sequencer in previous
solutions, by deploying a distributed set of sequencers without
weakening the ordering guarantees. I will end the talk with our recent
work on accelerating BFT protocols using this co-design approach.

Bio: Jialin Li is an Assistant Professor in the School of Computing at
the National University of Singapore. He finished his PhD at the
University of Washington in 2019, advised by Dan R. K. Ports. As part
of his dissertation work, he has built practical distributed systems
that offer both strong semantics and high performance, by co-designing
with new-generation programmable hardware. He is the recipient of best
paper awards at OSDI and NSDI. His current research interests include
distributed systems and programmable hardware co-design, data plane
operating systems, and decentralized system infrastructure.

Research Areas:
Systems & Networking

Impact Areas:

This event is not part of a series.

Created by Julian J. Shun Email at Tuesday, March 28, 2023 at 1:11 PM.