To solve the issues of low resource utilization and performance bottleneck in current server-centric data center networks (DCNs), we propose and experimentally demonstrate a disaggregated application-centric optical network (DACON) for data center infrastructures based on hybrid optical switches. DACON achieves flexible provision and dynamic reconfiguration of hardware nodes exploiting the softwared-define networking (SDN) orchestration plane. A four-node SDN-enabled disaggregated prototype is implemented with a field-programmable-gate-array-based controller of hardware nodes and nanosecond optical switches, performing a minimal node-to-node network latency of 378.6 ns and zero packet loss. Based on the unmodified Linux kernel and two different applications (distributed computing and a Memcached database), the application runtime of the disaggregated prototype is investigated and compared with the server-centric architecture. Experimental results show that the disaggregated prototype performs better with Memcached database applications, achieving a 1.46× faster runtime than the server-centric network at a memory node access ratio of 0.9. Based on the customized control plane orchestrator and dynamic resource reallocation, the node-to-node latency is reduced by 21% when CPU nodes access memory nodes. The scalability of DACON is then numerically assessed based on experimentally measured parameters. Results show that the intra-rack node-to-node latency is less than 404.8 ns with a 6144-node network and memory node access ratio of 0.9. Finally, the cost and power consumption are also studied and compared with current DCN architectures. Results indicate DACON saves 13.4% of the cost of an interconnect network compared with current disaggregated architecture and consumes up to 31.1% less power with respect to server-centric DCN architectures.
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