LEGUP: Using Heterogeneity to Reduce the Cost of Data Center Network Upgrades



Fundamental limitations of traditional data center network architectures have led to the development of architectures that provide enormous bisection bandwidth for up to hundreds of thousands of servers. Because these architectures rely on homogeneous switches, implementing one in a legacy data center usually requires replacing most existing switches. Such forklift upgrades are typically prohibitively expensive; instead, a data center manager should be able to selectively add switches to boost bisection bandwidth. Doing so adds heterogeneity to the network's switches and heterogeneous high-performance interconnection topologies are not well understood. Therefore, we develop the theory of heterogeneous Clos networks. We show that our construction needs only as much link capacity as the classic Clos network to route the same traffic matrices and this bound is the optimal. Placing additional equipment in a highly constrained data center is challenging in practice, however.We propose LEGUP to design the topology and physical arrangement of such network upgrades or expansions. Compared to current solutions, we show that LEGUP finds network upgrades with more bisection bandwidth for half the cost. And when expanding a data center iteratively, LEGUP's network has 265% more bisection bandwidth than an iteratively upgraded fat-tree.

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