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Power Saving in Regular Interconnection Networks Built with High-Degree Switches

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5 Author(s)
Alonso, M. ; DISCA, Univ. Politecnica de Valencia, Spain ; Martinez, J.-M. ; Santonja, V. ; Lopez, P.
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Nowadays, high-degree switches are available as building blocks of the interconnection network of clusters of PCs. An alternative to take advantage of the high number of switch ports is to connect every pair of switches through not only one but several links (this is known as link trunking in other environments). This extra connectivity can be exploited by using adaptive routing algorithms, thus improving network throughput and reducing network congestion. However with low traffic loads, all the links that compose the trunk link will not be utilized, but this idle links continue consuming power. Power consumption reduction techniques are being applied everywhere in computer systems and the interconnection network is not an exception, as its contribution is not negligible. In this paper, we present a mechanism that dynamically switches on and off network links as a function of traffic. It is specially targeted to those networks where trunk links are used. The mechanism can switch off any link, provided that network connectivity is guaranteed, (i.e. every pair of switches should be connected through at least one active link). Indeed, this restriction makes possible to use the same routing algorithm regardless the power saving actions taken, thus simplifying router design. Our simulation results show that the network power consumption can be greatly reduced, at the expense of some increase in latency. Nevertheless, it is shown that the power reduction is always higher that this latency increase.

Published in:

Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium, 2005. Proceedings. 19th IEEE International

Date of Conference:

04-08 April 2005