Direct Telemetry Access

The DTA telemetry protocol


The emergence of programmable switches allows operators to collect a vast amount of fine-grained telemetry data in real time. However, consolidating the telemetry reports at centralized collectors to gain a network-wide view poses an immense challenge. The received data has to be transported from the switches, parsed, manipulated, and inserted in queryable data structures. As the network scales, this requires excessive CPU processing. RDMA is a transport protocol that bypasses the CPU and allows extremely high data transfer rates. Yet, RDMA is not designed for telemetry collection: it requires a stateful connection, supports only a small number of concurrent writers, and has limited writing primitives, which restricts its data aggregation applicability. We introduce Direct Telemetry Access (DTA), a solution that allows fast and efficient telemetry collection, aggregation, and indexing. Our system establishes RDMA connections only from collectors’ ToR switches, called mph{translators}, that process DTA reports from all other switches. DTA features novel and expressive reporting primitives such as Key-Write, Append, Sketch-Merge, and Key-Increment that allow integration of telemetry systems such as INT and others. The translators then aggregate, batch, and write the reports to collectors’ memory in queryable form.

ArXiv Preprint
Gabriele Oliaro
Gabriele Oliaro
CS PhD Student

I’m a PhD Student in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University