Energy-Proportional Data Center Network Architecture Through OS, Switch and Laser Co-design

by   Haiyang Han, et al.

Optical interconnects are already the dominant technology in large-scale data center networks. However, the high optical loss of many optical components coupled with the low efficiency of laser sources result in high aggregate power requirements for the thousands of optical transceivers used by these networks. As optical interconnects stay always on even as traffic demands ebb and flow, most of this power is wasted. We present LC/DC, a data center network system architecture in which the operating system, the switch, and the optical components are co-designed to achieve energy proportionality. LC/DC capitalizes on the path divergence of data center networks to turn on and off redundant paths according to traffic demand, while maintaining full connectivity. Turning off redundant paths allows the optical transceivers and their electronic drivers to power down and save energy. Maintaining full connectivity hides the laser turn-on delay. At the node layer, intercepting send requests within the OS allows for the NIC's laser turn-on delay to be fully overlapped with TCP/IP packet processing, and thus egress links can remain powered off until needed with zero performance penalty. We demonstrate the feasibility of LC/DC by i) implementing the necessary modifications in the Linux kernel and device drivers, ii) implementing a 10Gbit/s FPGA switch, and iii) performing physical experiments with optical devices and circuit simulations. Our results on university data center traces and models of Facebook and Microsoft data center traffic show that LC/DC saves on average 60 higher packet delay.


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