CALIENT Software Defined Hybrid Packet-Optical Datacenter Network
Modern cloud-scale data centers support a variety of traffic patterns, including traditional short-lived “mouse” flows and more persistent “elephant” flows. Mouse flows are typically associated with bursty, latency-sensitive applications while elephant flows include traffic from virtual-machine migrations, backup and data migrations, and Big Data applications such as Hadoop. Typically, the majority of flows within a data center are mouse flows, but the majority of data belong to a few elephant flows.
This is a problem because elephant flows tend to fill network buffers end-to-end, which adds significant queuing delay to the mouse flows that share these buffers. In a network of elephant and mouse flows, that means the more latency-sensitive mouse flows suffer from increased latency due to the collateral damage caused by the elephant flows.
Hybrid networks consisting of both packet and optical circuit switching (OCS) elements offer a real solution to this problem with the much needed capability to economically reconfigure the network to support massive data flows with low latency and to scale as needed to 40 or 100 Gbit/s or even beyond.
In such architectures a smaller packet-based network handling short non-persistent data flows interconnects all top of rack switches in the datacenter or cluster. This is complimented by a circuit switched fabric consisting of one or more optical circuit switches such as CALIENT’s S320.
In the event that a large persistent data flow opens up between specific TORS, the packet network may become a bottleneck in the performance of the network, or it may simply add too much latency for the application making use of the connection. In these cases a direct optical path can be opened up between the TORS through the OCS fabric. This allows unconstrained data flow between the TOR uplinks with the absolute lowest latency possible.
|Categories||Networking > Control & Management Software > SDN Controller and Network Virtualization Platforms|
Networking > Hardware > Optical and other Interconnects
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