New hardware technology such as systems- and networks-on-chip (SOCs and NOCs), switchless network fabrics, silicon photonics, and RDMA, are redefining the landscape of data center computing, enabling interconnecting thousands of cores at high speed at the scale of today's racks. We refer to this new class of hardware as rack-scale computers (RSCs) because the rack is increasingly replacing the individual server as the basic building block of modern data centers. Early examples of RSCs have already appeared on the market from manufactures such as AMD SeaMicro, HP, and Intel and similar solutions are being deployed at large-scale companies such as Facebook and Microsoft.
These new hardware trends challenge traditional assumptions and force us to rethink existing software architectures. The goal of the Rack-scale Computing project is to perform a cross-layer redesign of the way the hardware, OS, storage and network stacks, and applications are built and interact in that new context. The key insight is that by co-designing different layers of the stack, it is possible to achieve both better performance and higher efficiency.
In our early CamCube work, we explored the opportunities provided by distributed switching fabrics and the benefits of tightly integrating applications and networks. Our on-going efforts are focused on supporting efficient access to rack-scale resources. In the Pelican project we are designing a cost-effective storage appliance for cold data and Flamingo automates the design of cold storage racks. The R2C2 project aims at designing a clean-slate network stack, purposely optimized for rack-scale computers. Finally, XFabric proposes a novel in-rack network design for rack-scale computers in which the physical network topology in the rack is dynamically adapted to the workload traffic, improving performance at low cost.
Server-centric fabric for data centers
Rack Routing and Congestion Control
Reconfigurable In-Rack Network for Rack-Scale Computers
Rack-scale storage for cold data
Helping the Design of Cold Storage Racks
- Sergey Legtchenko, Nicholas Chen, Daniel Cletheroe, Antony Rowstron, Hugh Williams, and Xiaohan Zhao, XFabric: A Reconfigurable In-Rack Network for Rack-Scale Computers, in 13th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 16), USENIX Association, Santa Clara, CA, 16 March 2016.
- Sergey Legtchenko, Xiaozhou Li, Antony Rowstron, Austin Donnelly, and Richard Black, Flamingo: Enabling Evolvable HDD-based Near-Line Storage, in 14th USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST 16), USENIX Association, Santa Clara, CA, 22 February 2016.
- Paolo Costa, Hitesh Ballani, Kaveh Razavi, and Ian Kash, R2C2: A Network Stack for Rack-scale Computers, in SIGCOMM 2015, ACM – Association for Computing Machinery, August 2015.
- Shobana Balakrishnan, Richard Black, Austin Donnelly, Paul England, Adam Glass, Dave Harper, Sergey Legtchenko, Aaron Ogus, Eric Peterson, and Antony Rowstron, Pelican: A building block for exascale cold data storage, 11th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI '14), 6 October 2014.
- Paolo Costa, Hitesh Ballani, and Dushyanth Narayanan, Rethinking the Network Stack for Rack-scale Computers, in 6th USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Cloud Computing (HotCloud'14), USENIX, June 2014.
- Paolo Costa, Austin Donnelly, Greg O'Shea, and Antony Rowstron, CamCubeOS: A Key-based Network Stack for 3D Torus Cluster Topologies, in The 22nd ACM International Symposium on High Performance Parallel and Distributed Computing (HPDC'13), ACM Press, New York, NY, US, June 2013.
- Paolo Costa, Austin Donnelly, Antony Rowstron, and Greg O'Shea, Camdoop: Exploiting In-network Aggregation for Big Data Applications, in 9th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI'12), USENIX, April 2012.
- Hussam Abu-Libdeh, Paolo Costa, Antony Rowstron, Austin Donnelly, and Greg O'Shea, Symbiotic Routing in Future Data Centers, ACM SIGCOMM, August 2010.
- Paolo Costa, Thomas Zahn, Ant Rowstron, Greg O'Shea, and Simon Schubert, Why should we integrate services, servers, and networking in a data center?, in WREN '09: Proceedings of the 1st ACM workshop on Research on enterprise networking, ACM, New York, NY, USA, August 2009.
- Paper on "XFabric: a Reconfigurable In-Rack Network for Rack-Scale Computers" presented at NSDI 2016
- Paper on "Flamingo: Enabling Evolvable HDD-based Near-Line Storage" presented at FAST 2016
- Paper on "R2C2: A Network Stack for Rack-scale Computers" accepted at SIGCOMM 2015
- Dagstuhl seminar on Rack-scale Computing (October 11-16, 2015)
- The slides of the Second Rack-scale Computing Workshop are online
- Maze: A Rack-scale Emulation Platform
- Paper on "Pelican: A Building Block for Exascale Cold Data Storage" accepted at OSDI 2014
- Pamela Delgado (EPFL)
- Nathanael Cheriere (INRIA)
- Kaveh Razavi (VUA)
- Xiaohan Zhao (UCSB)
- Xiaozhou Li (Princeton)