A Hybrid Testbed for Performance Evaluation of Large-Scale Datacenter Networks
2018 International Conference on Computing, Networking and Communications (ICNC)
Datacenters (DC) as well as their network interconnects are growing in scale and complexity. They are constantly being challenged in terms of energy and resource utilization efficiency, scalability, availability, reliability and performance requirements. Therefore, these resource-intensive environments must be properly tested and analyzed in order to make timely upgrades and transformations. However, a limited number of academic institutions and Research and Development companies have access to
... nies have access to production scale DC Network (DCN) testing facilities, and resource-limited studies can produce misleading or inaccurate results. To address this problem, we introduce an alternative solution, which forms a solid base for a more realistic and comprehensive performance evaluation of different aspects of DCNs. It is based on the System-in-the-loop (SITL) concept, where real commercial DCN equipment (switches) is interconnected with simulated DCN nodes via the SITL virtual gateway modules in the Riverbed Modeler, forming a unified hybrid real-simulated DCN setup. This testbed is complemented with high performance network testers, which can generate a mix of different real traffic streams at L2-3 and L4-7 at the rates of 1, 10 or up to 40 Gbps. These components allow performance benchmarking tests to be conducted at large scale. Functional Element(s) Purpose Simulation platform with SITL Virtual hardware-software linking for real-time communication with real DC equipment High performance Xena Bay/Xena Scale network testers  Accurate generation of large volumes of data with mixed traffic patterns, many simultaneous connection-oriented and connection-less flows. Creating a more realistic DCN communication context, difficult to achieve with software gen. Integration of simulated, electrical and optical DC network equipment Possibility to evaluate the scalability of different DCN architectures by stress-testing with real communication flows; assessment of the benefits of optical switching in hybrid DCN architectures.