HiFOST: A scalable and low-latency hybrid data center network architecture based on flow-controlled fast optical switches

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To solve the bandwidth and latency issues in current hierarchical data center network (DCN) architectures based on electrical switches, we propose a novel hybridDCNarchitecture based on distributed flow-controlled fast optical switches (FOS) and modified top-of-the-rack (TOR) switches (HiFOST). The intra-cluster interconnection of HiFOST is built by FOS with wavelength switching in nanoseconds' time for an efficient statistical multiplexing operation, while the inter-cluster interconnection is connected by the TOR interfaces directly. Due to the lack of practical optical buffers, optical flow control is implemented to retransmit packets in case of contention. We investigate the performance of HiFOST DCN with different TOR buffer sizes, optical link capacities, elastic allocation of transceivers, and network scales under realistic data center (DC) traffic. The results show an average serverto- server latency of less than 2.8 μs, a packet loss <5.6 × 10-6 at load of 0.5 for a DC size of 94,080 servers with limited 50 KB TOR buffer. In addition, for scaling out the servers' number and scaling up the data rate of connected servers, the cost and power consumption of the HiFOST DCN have been investigated and compared with the electrical Fat-Tree and Leaf-Spine DCN architectures, as well as with the optical H-LION and OPSquare DCN architectures. Results indicate that, for 94,080 servers operating at 10 Gb/s, HiFOST has a 48.2% and 34.1% savings of the cost and 46.3% and 32.5% savings of the power consumption with respect to the Fat-Tree and Leaf-Spine, respectively. For a HiFOST DCN supporting a 10880 server, scaling up the operating data rate of the server to 100 Gb/s, the HiFOST solution has a cost savings of 35.6% and 34.1% and power consumption of 56.5% and 59.2% as compared to the Fat-Tree and Leaf-Spine, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)B1-B14
JournalJournal of Optical Communications and Networking
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • Data center architecture
  • Fast optical switch
  • OMNeT++ simulation
  • Optical flow control.


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