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EZPath: Expediting Container Network Traffic via Programmable Switches in Data Centers



Zili Zha, An Wang, Yang Guo, Songqing Chen


Containerization, while getting popular in data centers, faces practical challenges due to the sharing nature of cloud networks among tens of thousands containers simultaneously and dynamically. While the typical overlay approach enables network virtualization to facilitate multi-tenant isolation and container portability, this approach often suffers from degraded performance. Other proposed schemes addressing this performance bottleneck require either specialized hardware support, or customized software and extra maintenance. In this paper, we propose EZPath, a novel approach that can seamlessly expedite the container traffic by leveraging the programmable Top-of-Rack (ToR) switches in clouds. By utilizing the underlying programmable switch's data planes, EZPath can adaptively offload heavy traffic directly from the container to the ToR switches, thus creating a fast and easy path to mitigate the network bottleneck. Using typical container workloads, we evaluate the performance of EZPath, and the results show that EZPath can significantly improve the application performance over the default overlay networking, e.g., a 35% throughput increase and a 42% tail latency reduction for Memcached.
Conference Dates
June 13-16, 2022
Conference Location
Catania, IT
Conference Title
IFIP Networking Conference 2022


SDN, programmable switch, cloud, container, traffic offloading


Zha, Z. , Wang, A. , Guo, Y. and Chen, S. (2022), EZPath: Expediting Container Network Traffic via Programmable Switches in Data Centers, IFIP Networking Conference 2022, Catania, IT (Accessed December 3, 2023)
Created June 13, 2022