The rapid increasing traffic in data centers (DCs) puts tremendous pressure to the present multi-tier network architectures and electrical switching techniques. Switching traffic in the optical domain featuring ultra-high bandwidth, therefore, has been intensively investigated to build the high capacity data center networks (DCNs). To handle the variable traffic pattern in DCs, the network reconfigurability with adaptable optical bandwidth allocation is of key importance to flexibly assign the optical bandwidth. To this end, we propose and experimentally evaluate a software-defined networking enabled reconfigurable optical DCN with dynamic bandwidth allocation in this work, based on novel optical top of racks exploiting a wavelength selective switch. Experimental assessments show that the proposed solution can automatically reallocate the optical bandwidth in real-time to adapt the dynamic traffic pattern. Compared with the conventional optical DCN with static bandwidth provision, the end-to-end latency performance of the reconfigurable scheme with adaptable bandwidth allocation improves of 58.3% and the average packet loss decreases one order of magnitude. Moreover, the reconfigurable optical DCN features deterministic latency performance, with much lower time variations of packets delivery completion. Based on the experimental parameters, the simulation platform is also built to validate the good scalability of the proposed reconfigurable DCN. Numerical results illustrate the negligible performance degradation (11%) as the network scales from 2560 to 40 960 servers.
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© 2021 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd.