Modern data centers can consist of hundreds of thousands of servers and millions of virtualized end hosts. Managing address assignment while simultaneously enabling scalable communication is a challenge in such an environment. We present ALIAS, an addressing and communication protocol that automates topology discovery and address assignment for the hierarchical topologies that underlie many data center network fabrics. Addresses assigned by ALIAS interoperate with a variety of scalable communication techniques. ALIAS is fully decentralized, scales to large network sizes, and dynamically recovers from arbitrary failures, without requiring modifications to hosts or to commodity switch hardware. We demonstrate through simulation that ALIAS quickly and correctly configures networks that support up to hundreds of thousands of hosts, even in the face of failures and erroneous cabling, and we show that ALIAS is a practical solution for auto-configuration with our NetFPGA testbed implementation.


October, 2011





Proceedings of the 2nd ACM Symposium on Cloud Computing