Symbiotic Routing in Future Data Centers

Building distributed applications that run in data centers is

hard. The CamCube project explores the design of a ship-

ping container sized data center with the goal of building an

easier platform on which to build these applications. Cam-

Cube replaces the traditional switch-based network with a

3D torus topology, with each server directly connected to

six other servers. As in other proposals, e.g. DCell and

BCube, multi-hop routing in CamCube requires servers to

participate in packet forwarding. To date, as in existing data

centers, these approaches have all provided a single routing

protocol for the applications.

In this paper we explore if allowing applications to im-

plement their own routing services is advantageous, and if

we can support it efficiently. This is based on the obser-

vation that, due to the

exibility offered by the CamCube

API, many applications implemented their own routing pro-

tocol in order to achieve specific application-level charac-

teristics, such as trading off higher-latency for better path

convergence. Using large-scale simulations we demonstrate

the benefits and network-level impact of running multiple

routing protocols. We demonstrate that applications are

more efficient and do not generate additional control traffic

overhead. This motivates us to design an extended routing

service allowing easy implementation of application-specific

routing protocols on CamCube. Finally, we demonstrate

that the additional performance overhead incurred when us-

ing the extended routing service on a prototype CamCube

is very low.

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