MDCube: A High Performance Network Structure for Modular Data Center Interconnection

Shipping-container-based data centers have been introduced as building blocks for constructing mega-data centers. However, it is a challenge on how to interconnect those containers together with reasonable cost and cabling complexity, due to the fact that a mega-data center can have hundreds or even thousands of containers and the aggregate bandwidth among containers can easily reach tera-bit per second. As a new inner-container server-centric network architecture, BCube \cite{bcube09} interconnects thousands of servers inside a container and provides high bandwidth support for typical traffic patterns. It naturally serves as a building block for mega-data center.

In this paper, we propose MDCube, a high performance interconnection structure to scale BCube-based containers to mega-data centers. MDCube uses the high-speed uplink interfaces of the commodity switches in BCube containers to build the inter-container structure, reducing the cabling complexity greatly. MDCube puts its inter- and inner-container routing intelligences solely into servers to handle load-balance and fault-tolerance, thus directly leverages commodity instead of high-end switches to scale. Through analysis, we prove that MDCube has low diameter and high capacity. Both simulations and experiments in our testbed demonstrate the fault-tolerance and high network capacity of MDCube.

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