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In recent years, Data Center Network (DCN) architectures (e.g., DCell, FiConn, BCube, FatTree, and VL2) received a surge of interest from both the industry and academia. However, none of existing efforts provide an in-depth understanding of the impact of these architectures on application performance in practical multi-tier systems under realistic workload. Moreover, it is also unclear how these architectures are affected in virtualized environments. In this paper, the authors fill this void by conducting an experimental evaluation of FiConn and FatTree, each respectively as a representative of hierarchical and flat architectures, in a three-tier transaction system using Virtual Machine (VM) based implementation.
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