Ankit Singla presented the paper "Fat-FREE topologies" at The Fifteenth ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks (HotNets 2016) in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
With the growing size of data center networks, full-bandwidth connectivity between all pairs of servers is becoming difficult and expensive to scale. Thus, numerous recent topology proposals incorporate reconfigurable wireless and optical connectivity, allowing the topology to adapt to the traffic demands — only servers that require bandwidth at any given time receive such dynamic connections. Implicitly, this work has suggested that statically wired topologies are fundamentally inflexible, and would need to be built at full capacity to handle unpredictably skewed traffic. This work shows the reports of inflexibility of statically wired networks to be greatly exaggerated — if traffic en- gineering were efficient, certain statically wired networks could achieve performance and cost comparable to topology- adaptive designs, even for skewed workloads. Thus, alongside the development of reconfigurable topologies, the community should also invest in developing superior traffic engineering over static networks other than fat-trees as an alternate path forward. These results also call for a rigorous quantification of the difference between the power of two techniques for handling dynamic, unpredictable traffic with limited network resources: traffic engineering over suitable static networks, and changing the topology itself dynamically.