Got Loss? Get zOVN!

Got Loss? Get zOVN!
Daniel Crisan, Robert Birke, Gilles Cressier, Cyriel Minkenberg and Mitch Gusat IBM Research – Zurich Research Laboratory,

Datacenter networking is currently dominated by two major trends. One aims toward lossless, flat layer-2 fabrics based on Converged Enhanced Ethernet or InfiniBand, with ben- efits in efficiency and performance. The other targets flexibility based on Software Defined Networking, which enables Overlay Virtual Networking. Although clearly complementary, these trends also exhibit some conflicts: In contrast to physical fabrics, which avoid packet drops by means of flow control, practically all current virtual networks are lossy. We quantify these losses for several common combinations of hy- pervisors and virtual switches, and show their detrimental effect on application performance. Moreover, we propose a zero-loss Overlay Virtual Network (zOVN) designed to reduce the query and flow completion time of latency-sensitive datacenter applications.
We describe its architecture and detail the design of its key component, the zVALE lossless virtual switch.
As proof of concept, we implemented a zOVN prototype and benchmark it with Partition-Aggregate in two testbeds, achieving an up to 15-fold reduction of the mean completion time with three widespread TCP versions. For larger-scale validation and deeper introspection into zOVN, we developed an OMNeT++ model for accurate cross-layer simulations of a virtualized datacenter, which confirm the validity of our results.
Published in: RZ3840 in 2013

Download the article (LINK to .PDF) Copyright 2013 ACM.

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