J. of Opt. Comm. and Netw.

Toward higher-radix switches with co-packaged optics for improved network locality in data center and HPC networks

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We study the network locality improvements that can be achieved by using co-packaged optics in data center and high-performance computing (HPC) networks. The increased escape bandwidth offered by co-packaged optics can enable switches with speeds of 51.2 Tb/s and beyond. From a network architecture perspective, the key advantages of introducing co-packaged optics at the switch points include the implementation of large-scale topologies of 12,000 end points with 4× higher bisection bandwidth and the reduction of the required number of switches by >40% compared with state-of-the-art approaches. From a network operation perspective, improved network locality and faster operation can be achieved since the higher-radix switches can mitigate the impact of network contention. Placing applications under fewer leaf switches reduces the number of packets that cross the spine switches in a leaf-spine topology. The proposed scheme is evaluated via discrete-event simulations: we initially evaluate the network locality properties of the system by using virtual-machine traces from a production data center, and we subsequently quantify the performance improvements by simulating an all-to-all pattern for a variety of message sizes over a number of nodes. The results suggest that co-packaged optics form a promising solution for keeping up with bandwidth scaling in future networks. The virtual-machine analysis shows that large-scale applications can be placed under up to 50% fewer first-level switches, while the network analysis shows speedups of up to 7.1, which translates to execution time reductions of up to 26% and 42.7% for applications with communication ratios of 0.3 and 0.5, respectively.