IEEE 802 Nendica Report: The Lossless Network for Data Centers

Modern data centers are tasked with delivering intelligent multi-media responses to real-time human interactions. Massive amounts of data are being churned and sifted by highly parallel applications, such as Online Data Intensive Services (OLDI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), which historically required specialized High-Performance Computing (HPC) infrastructure. New advancements in high-speed distributed solid-state storage, coupled with remote direct memory access (RDMA) and new networking technologies to better manage congestion, are allowing these parallel environments to run atop more generalized next generation cloud infrastructure. Generalized cloud infrastructure is also being deployed in the telecommunication operator’s central office. The key to advancing cloud infrastructure to the next level is the elimination of loss in the network, not just packet loss, but throughput loss and latency loss. There simply should be no loss in the data center network. Congestion is the primary source of loss and in the network, congestion leads to dramatic performance degradation. This paper discusses the need for new technologies to combat loss in the data center network and introduces promising potential solutions.


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