Ally: OS-Transparent Packet Inspection Using Sequestered Cores

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Provided by: Georgia Institute of Technology
Topic: Hardware
Format: PDF
In this paper, the authors present Ally, a server platform architecture that supports compute-intensive management services on multi-core processors. Ally introduces simple hardware mechanisms to sequester cores to run a separate software environment dedicated to management tasks, including packet processing software appliances with efficient mechanisms to safely and transparently intercept network packets. Ally enables distributed deployment of compute-intensive management services throughout a datacenter. Importantly, it uniquely allows these services to be deployed independent of the arbitrary OSs and/or hypervisor that users may choose to run on the remaining cores, with hardware isolation preventing the host environment from tampering with the management environment.
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