Online / 6 & 7 February 2021


Advanced BPF kernel features for the container age

BPF is becoming ubiquitous in today's modern container environments and thanks to the fast pace of innovations from Linux kernel developers in the BPF subsystem, cloud native networking software such as Cilium is able to bring these extensions to a mainstream user base for improving throughput, latency and reliability of workloads and services. This talk provides a deep dive on recently added BPF kernel as well as Cilium extensions for Kubernetes environments which significantly reduce application tail latencies with the help of the earliest departure time (EDT) model for egress bandwidth management. Furthermore, recently added BPF redirection helpers are discussed which offer a low-latency switch into Pod network namespaces. Last but not least the talk also covers how Cilium's BPF kube-proxy replacement improves reliability for its high-performance XDP-based north-south service load-balancing through a BPF-based Maglev consistent hashing implementation. We'll discuss our path towards implementing these features, our lessons learned as well as future follow-up work.


Daniel Borkmann