Datacenter Traffic Control: Understanding Techniques and Tradeoffs
IEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials
Datacenters provide cost-effective and flexible access to scalable compute and storage resources necessary for today's cloud computing needs. A typical datacenter is made up of thousands of servers connected with a large network and usually managed by one operator. To provide quality access to the variety of applications and services hosted on datacenters and maximize performance, it deems necessary to use datacenter networks effectively and efficiently. Datacenter traffic is often a mix of
... ral classes with different priorities and requirements. This includes user-generated interactive traffic, traffic with deadlines, and long-running traffic. To this end, custom transport protocols and traffic management techniques have been developed to improve datacenter network performance. In this tutorial paper, we review the general architecture of datacenter networks, various topologies proposed for them, their traffic properties, general traffic control challenges in datacenters and general traffic control objectives. The purpose of this paper is to bring out the important characteristics of traffic control in datacenters and not to survey all existing solutions (as it is virtually impossible due to massive body of existing research). We hope to provide readers with a wide range of options and factors while considering a variety of traffic control mechanisms. We discuss various characteristics of datacenter traffic control including management schemes, transmission control, traffic shaping, prioritization, load balancing, multipathing, and traffic scheduling. Next, we point to several open challenges as well as new and interesting networking paradigms. At the end of this paper, we briefly review inter-datacenter networks that connect geographically dispersed datacenters which have been receiving increasing attention recently and pose interesting and novel research problems.