HotCocoa: Hardware congestion control abstractions

Mina Tahmasbi Arashloo, Monia Ghobadi, Jennifer L. Rexford, David P. Walker

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

20 Scopus citations


Congestion control in multi-tenant data centers is an active area of research because of its significant impact on customer experience, and, consequently, on revenue. Therefore, new algorithms and protocols are expected to emerge as the Cloud evolves. Deploying new congestion control algorithms in the end host's hypervisor allows frequent updates, but processing packets at high rates in the hypervisor and implementing the elements of a congestion control algorithm, such as traffic shapers and timestamps, in software have well-studied inaccuracies and CPU inefficiencies. In this paper, we argue for implementing the entire congestion control algorithm in programmable NICs. To do so, we identify the absence of hardware-aware programming abstractions as the most immediate challenge and solve it using a simple high-level domain specific language called HotCocoa. HotCocoa lies at a sweet spot between the ability to express a broad set of congestion control algorithms and efficient hardware implementation. It offers a set of hardware-aware COngestion COntrol Abstractions that enable operators to specify their algorithm without having to worry about low-level hardware primitives. To evaluate HotCocoa, we implement four congestion control algorithms (Reno, DCTCP, PCC, and TIMELY) and use simulations to show that HotCocoa's implementation of Reno perfectly tracks the behavior of a native implementation in C++.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHotNets 2017 - Proceedings of the 16th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450355698
StatePublished - Nov 30 2017
Event16th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks, HotNets 2017 - Palo Alto, United States
Duration: Nov 30 2017Dec 1 2017

Publication series

NameHotNets 2017 - Proceedings of the 16th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks


Other16th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks, HotNets 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPalo Alto

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications


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