Friends, not foes: synthesizing existing transport strategies for data center networks

Ali Munir, Ghufran Baig, Syed M. Irteza, Ihsan A. Qazi, Alex X. Liu, Fahad R. Dogar
Appears in: 
CCR August 2014

Many data center transports have been proposed in recent times (e.g., DCTCP, PDQ, pFabric, etc). Contrary to the common perception that they are competitors (i.e., protocol A vs. protocol B), we claim that the underlying strategies used in these protocols are, in fact, complementary. Based on this insight, we design PASE, a transport framework that synthesizes existing transport strategies, namely, self-adjusting endpoints (used in TCP style protocols), innetwork prioritization (used in pFabric), and arbitration (used in PDQ). PASE is deployment friendly: it does not require any changes to the network fabric; yet, its performance is comparable to, or better than, the state-of-the-art protocols that require changes to network elements (e.g., pFabric). We evaluate PASE using simulations and testbed experiments. Our results show that PASE performs well for a wide range of application workloads and network settings.