BCube: A High Performance, Server-centric Network Architecture for Modular Data Centers

Chuanxiong Guo, Guohan Lu, Dan Li, Haitao Wu, Xuan Zhang, Yunfeng Shi, Chen Tian, Yongguang Zhang, and Songwu Lu
Appears in: 
CCR October 2009

This paper presents BCube, a new network architecture specifically designed for shipping-container based, modular data centers. At the core of the BCube architecture is its server-centric network structure, where servers with multi- ple network ports connect to multiple layers of COTS (com- modity on-the-shelf) mini-switches. Servers act as not only end hosts, but also relay nodes for each other. BCube sup- ports various bandwidth-intensive applications by speeding- up one-to-one, one-to-several, and one-to-all traffic patterns, and by providing high network capacity for all-to-all traffic.

BCube exhibits graceful performance degradation as the server and/or switch failure rate increases. This property is of special importance for shipping-container data centers, since once the container is sealed and operational, it becomes very diĀ±cult to repair or replace its components.

Our implementation experiences show that BCube can be seamlessly integrated with the TCP/IP protocol stack and BCube packet forwarding can be efficiently implemented in both hardware and software. Experiments in our testbed demonstrate that BCube is fault tolerant and load balanc- ing and it significantly accelerates representative bandwidth- intensive applications.