Research Project

Modeling Datacenter Network Architecture

Speaker:Ruofan Xia
rx51 at
Date: Friday, May 4, 2012
Time: 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Location: 161 Hudson Hall, Duke
John Board, Xiaobai Sun


Today datacenters are playing an increasingly important role in supporting business operations. To meet the requirement on performance and availability as specified in Service Level Agreements (SLAs), the management needs to plan ahead and ensure the datacenter has sufficient capacity. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate the performance and availability of the datacenter.

Compared to the evaluation methods like prototyping and simulation, the advantage of analytical stochastic models lies in the lower cost of constructing and solving the model, meanwhile covering a large parameter/workload/configuration space. Nevertheless, tractability of such models requires simplifying assumptions that are sometimes seen as significantly impacting the fidelity of the model. In order to overcome such difficulty, hierarchical stochastic models can be used to capture important details about the system workload, fault load and various other hardware/software aspects to gain fidelity while retaining tractability.

This project proposal describes an approach for the analytical modeling of datacenter networks. Utilizing hierarchical modeling, this approach allows compact specification of large network architecture and easy comparison of different system structures and/or parameter profiles. To illustrate our approach, we’ll apply our modeling techniques to a datacenter network architecture commonly used in practice.

Advisor(s): Kishor Trivedi