CERN Accelerating science

A Lossless Network for Data Acquisition

Date published: 
Wednesday, 29 March, 2017
Document type: 
Journal paper
G. Jereczek
G. Lehmann Miotto
D. Malone
M. Walukiewicz
The bursty many-to-one communication pattern, typical for data acquisition systems, is particularly demanding for commodity TCP/IP and Ethernet technologies. We expand the study of lossless switching in software running on commercial-off-the-shelf servers, using the ATLAS experiment as a case study. In this paper we extend the popular software switch, Open vSwitch, with a dedicated, throughput-oriented buffering mechanism for data acquisition. We compare the performance under heavy congestion on typical Ethernet switches to a commodity server acting as a switch. Our results indicate that software switches with large buffers perform significantly better. Next, we evaluate the scalability of the system when building a larger topology of interconnected software switches, exploiting the integration with software-defined networking technologies. We build an IP-only leaf-spine network consisting of eight software switches running on distinct physical servers as a demonstrator.
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