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Feedback-Based Scheduling for Load-Balanced Two-Stage Switches

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2 Author(s)
Bing Hu ; Dept. of Electr. & Electron. Eng., Univ. of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China ; Yeung, K.L.

A framework for designing feedback-based scheduling algorithms is proposed for elegantly solving the notorious packet missequencing problem of a load-balanced switch. Unlike existing approaches, we show that the efforts made in load balancing and keeping packets in order can complement each other. Specifically, at each middle-stage port between the two switch fabrics of a load-balanced switch, only a single-packet buffer for each virtual output queueing (VOQ) is required. Although packets belonging to the same flow pass through different middle-stage VOQs, the delays they experience at different middle-stage ports will be identical. This is made possible by properly selecting and coordinating the two sequences of switch configurations to form a joint sequence with both staggered symmetry property and in-order packet delivery property. Based on the staggered symmetry property, an efficient feedback mechanism is designed to allow the right middle-stage port occupancy vector to be delivered to the right input port at the right time. As a result, the performance of load balancing as well as the switch throughput is significantly improved. We further extend this feedback mechanism to support the multicabinet implementation of a load-balanced switch, where the propagation delay between switch linecards and switch fabrics is nonnegligible. As compared to the existing load-balanced switch architectures and scheduling algorithms, our solutions impose a modest requirement on switch hardware, but consistently yield better delay-throughput performance. Last but not least, some extensions and refinements are made to address the scalability, implementation, and fairness issues of our solutions.

Published in:

Networking, IEEE/ACM Transactions on  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Aug. 2010

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