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Allocating Bandwidth in Datacenter Networks: A Survey

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Datacenters have played an increasingly essential role as the underlying infrastructure in cloud computing. As implied by the essence of cloud computing, resources in these datacenters are shared by multiple competing entities, which can be either tenants that rent virtual machines (VMs) in a public cloud such as Amazon EC2, or applications that embrace data parallel frameworks like MapReduce in a private cloud maintained by Google. It has been generally observed that with traditional transport-layer protocols allocating link bandwidth in datacenters, network traffic from competing applications interferes with each other, resulting in a severe lack of predictability and fairness of application performance. Such a critical issue has drawn a substantial amount of recent research attention on bandwidth allocation in datacenter networks, with a number of new mechanisms proposed to efficiently and fairly share a datacenter network among competing entities. In this article, we present an extensive survey of existing bandwidth allocation mechanisms in the literature, covering the scenarios of both public and private clouds. We thoroughly investigate their underlying design principles, evaluate the trade-off involved in their design choices and summarize them in a unified design space, with the hope of conveying some meaningful insights for better designs in the future.

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Author information

Correspondence to Li Chen.

Additional information

The research was support in part by the Research Grants Council (RGC) of Hong Kong under Grant No. 615613, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)/RGC of Hong Kong under Grant No. N HKUST610/11, the NSFC under Grant No. U1301253, and the ChinaCache Int. Corp. under Contract No. CCNT12EG01.

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Chen, L., Li, B. & Li, B. Allocating Bandwidth in Datacenter Networks: A Survey. J. Comput. Sci. Technol. 29, 910–917 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11390-014-1478-x

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  • datacenter network
  • bandwidth allocation
  • fairness