Dr. Hardik Soni
Lecturer Dr. Hardik Soni
NEC Laboratories Europe GmbH
Title Composition Framework for Packet-processing Programs
Date Friday, 14th January 2022; 01:30 p.m.
Location Online via Zoom (please send an e-mail to office@maki.tu-darmstadt.de, to receive the zoom-data)

The state-of-the-art dataplane languages, like P4, and hardware architectures use domain-specific primitives such as programmable parsers and match-action tables to enable flexible and efficient processing of packets. Unfortunately, P4 programs tend to be monolithic and tightly coupled to the hardware architecture, which makes it hard to write programs in a portable and modular way-e.g., by composing reusable libraries of standard protocols.
First, we will discuss various research challenges in writing library modules and target-architecture independent programs. Next, I will present the design and implementation of a novel framework (μP4) comprising a lightweight logical architecture that abstracts away from the structure of the underlying targets and naturally supports powerful forms of program composition. Using examples, we show how μP4 enables modular programming. Next, I will present a prototype of the compiler that generates code for multiple lower-level architectures, including Barefoot’s Tofino Native Architecture. We evaluate the overheads induced by our compiler on realistic examples. We will briefly discuss possible optimizations. Finally, we will revisit the same research challenges for SmartNICs and Control Plane to draw a roadmap for future research opportunities.
Soni Hardik is a senior researcher at NEC Laboratories Europe GmbH. He was a post-doctoral research associate with Professor Nate Foster at Computer Science department of Cornell University, USA. Prior to joining Cornell, he completed his PhD under the supervision of Thierry Turletti and Walid Dabbous in DIANA team at INRIA Sophia, France. Earlier, he worked as a Senior Software Engineer at Alcatel-Lucent, India for a couple of years.