A data center is a facility for housing computational and storage systems interconnected through a communication network called data center network (DCN). Due to a tremendous growth in the computational power, storage capacity and the number of inter-connected servers, the DCN faces challenges concerning efficiency, reliability and scalability. Although transmission control protocol (TCP) is a time-tested transport protocol in the Internet, DCN challenges such as inadequate buffer space in switches and bandwidth limitations have prompted the researchers to propose techniques to improve TCP performance or design new transport protocols for DCN. Data center TCP (DCTCP) emerge as one of the most promising solutions in this domain which employs the explicit congestion notification feature of TCP to enhance the TCP congestion control algorithm. While DCTCP has been analyzed for two-tier tree-based DCN topology for traffic between servers in the same rack which is common in cloud applications, it remains oblivious to the traffic patterns common in university and private enterprise networks which traverse the complete network interconnect spanning upper tier layers. We also recognize that DCTCP performance cannot remain unaffected by the underlying DCN architecture hence there is a need to test and compare DCTCP performance when implemented over diverse DCN architectures. Some of the most notable DCN architectures are the legacy three-tier, fat-tree, BCube, DCell, VL2, and CamCube. In this research, we simulate the two switch-centric DCN architectures; the widely deployed legacy three-tier architecture and the promising fat-tree architecture using network simulator and analyze the performance of DCTCP in terms of throughput and delay for realistic traffic patterns. We also examine how DCTCP prevents incast and outcast congestion when realistic DCN traffic patterns are employed in above mentioned topologies. Our results show that the underlying DCN architecture significantly impacts DCTCP performance. We find that DCTCP gives optimal performance in fat-tree topology and is most suitable for large networks.
Zafar, S., Bashir, A., & Chaudhry, S. A. (2016). On implementation of DCTCP on three-tier and fat-tree data center network topologies. SpringerPlus, 5(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40064-016-2454-4