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System and method for fast forwarding in data center

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000232517D
Publication Date: 2013-Nov-15

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

As the development of virtualization, cloud, high performance computing and so on, there are many changes occurred in the datacenter, one change is about the traffic flow, in traditional datacenter, South-North traffic takes about 90%, but now East-West traffic flow takes more than 75%. Also the latency and performance becomes more and more important. But in today's datacenter networking architecture, across subnets East-West traffic will be forwarded on aggregator or core switches, it's inefficient because the hosts or virtual machines across subnets may be connected in the same access switch. A new method is disclosed to address this issue, access switch will snoop ARPs from all hosts or virtual machines, and build fast forwarding entries by the snooped ARP entres and gateway information from a centralized forwarding manager. Then all the traffic across subnets will be forwarded to destination directly in the access switch, which will reduce the latency and improve utilization of bandwidth.

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System and method for fast forwarding in data center

As the cloud computing is becoming more popular, the datacenter has a faster deployment in current time. In one datacenter, to connect the servers and storage, to use the applications, the network takes the key role. For the network design method in the datacenter, the three-layer hierarchical model is used (Figure 1):
Access Layer:Access layer provides end point device connection, and this function is normally performed by Layer 2 Ethernet switches. Aggregation Layer: Distribution layer aggregates multiple access layers
Core Layer:Core layer or backbone provides high-speed transportation services between different parts (or building blocks).

As the development of virtualization, cloud computing, distribution computing and so on, there are many changes occurred in the datacenter, one change is about the traffic flow, in tradition datacenter, South-North traffic takes more than90%, but now East-West traffic flow takes more than 75%. Also the latency and performance becomes more and more important. Thus we found one issue in the datacenter network.

In Figure 1, let's see server1 and server 2 connected to SW1, server 1 is in VLAN1 with IP1, server 2 is in VLAN2 with IP2, and SW1 is a L2 switch. In this case, if Server 1 wants to communicate with Server 2, the traffic would go through SW1, check the routing table in SW3, find the route path and come back to SW1, then deliver to Server2(see the red lines in Figure1-1). We would notice following things happened here:
For the 2 servers connected in the same access switch, the communication between them would go through 3 switch hops, and thus A) the latency is high increased B) the traffic takes a cycle between SW1 and SW3, which is highly wasted the bandwidth.

So is there any method that the communication between Server1 and Server 2 just go through 1 switch hop (the violet line in Figure 1), this disclosure is to address this issue.

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Figure 1. Data Center Networking Topology

A fast forwarding mechanism is proposed in disclosure, series of fast forwarding rules are built by ARP messages in fast forwarding table, and IP packets will be forwarded to the destination IP by this fast forwarding table. In disclosure solution, it's unnecessary to forward IP packets to gateway, which can improve the forwarding efficiency. The benefits and the values of this disclosure are described as follows:


1) High Utilization:Increasing bandwidth utilization and maximizing throughput.


2) Low latency:IP packets can be transmitted successfully with low latency, low packet loss, and it also minimizes traffic congestion

3) High Availability: L2 switch or virtual switch support fast forwarding mechanism can work as the failover redundancy device for current gateway; business will not be interrupted during gateway's downtime.


4) Facilitating Scaling:it is flexible to support more features on Forwarding Manager, such as customer isolation, access c...