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The goal of data-center networking is to interconnect a large number of server machines with low equipment cost while providing high network capacity and high bisection width. It is well understood that the current practice where servers are connected by a tree hierarchy of network switches cannot meet these requirements. In this paper, we explore a new server-interconnection structure. We observe that the commodity server machines used in today's data centers usually come with two built-in Ethernet ports, one for network connection and the other left for backup purposes. We believe that if both ports are actively used in network connections, we can build a scalable, cost-effective interconnection structure without either the expensive higher-level large switches or any additional hardware on servers. We design such a networking structure called FiConn. Although the server node degree is only 2 in this structure, we have proven that FiConn is highly scalable to encompass hundreds of thousands of servers with low diameter and high bisection width. We have developed a low-overhead traffic-aware routing mechanism to improve effective link utilization based on dynamic traffic state. We have also proposed how to incrementally deploy FiConn.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2011