Shoal: A Lossless Network for High-density and Disaggregated Racks
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Shrivastav, Vishal; Valadarsky, Asaf; Ballani, Hitesh; Costa, Paolo; Lee, Ki Suh; Wang, Han; Agarwal, Rachit; Weatherspoon, Hakim
Rack-scale computers comprise hundreds of micro-servers connected to internal storage and memory through an internal network. However, their density and disaggregated nature pose a problem for existing packet-switched networks: they are too costly, draw too much power, and the network latency is too high for converged traffic (comprising IP, storage, and memory traffic). We propose Shoal, a rack-scale network that tightly integrates a circuit-switched physical fabric with the nodes’ network stack to efficiently support converged traffic. Shoal’s fabric comprises circuit switches with no buffers, no arbitration, and no packet inspection mechanism. Micro-servers transmit according to a static schedule such that there is no in-network contention. Shoal’s congestion control leverages the physical fabric to achieve fairness, losslessness, and both bounded worst-case throughput and queuing. We use an FPGA-based prototype and simulations to illustrate Shoal’s mechanisms are practical and achieve low latency within the rack at low cost and power.
Datacenters; Rack-scale Computers; Disaggregated resources; Disaggregated systems; Computer networks