CoNEXT 2021
Conference paper

Load balancing with JET: Just enough tracking for connection consistency

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Hash-based stateful load-balancers employ connection tracking to avoid per-connection-consistency (PCC) violations that lead to broken connections. In this paper, we propose Just Enough Tracking (JET), a new algorithmic framework that significantly reduces the size of the connection tracking tables for hash-based stateful load-balancers without increasing PCC violations. Under mild assumptions on how backend servers are added, JET adapts consistent hash techniques to identify which connections do not need to be tracked. We provide a model to identify these safe connections and a pluggable framework with appealing theoretical guarantees that supports a variety of consistent hash and connection-tracking modules. We implement JET in two different environments and with four different consistent hash techniques. Using a series of evaluations, we demonstrate that JET requires connection-tracking tables that are an order of magnitude smaller than those required with full connection tracking while preserving PCC and balance properties. In addition, JET often increases the lookup rate due to improved caching.