Merging Traffic to Save Energy in the Enterprise
In typical enterprise networks, a large fraction of ports see utilization of less than 5% at peak times and close to zero utilization otherwise. Therefore, the normal architecture of one switch port per end-host is very wasteful because of the need for high port density switches to support numerous end users. In this paper, the authors propose merging traffic from multiple end-hosts and feeding that to small port density switches that can replace the high port density switches. The energy savings from such a redesign are significant. The innovative part of this paper is the design of a low-power Merge network that is used to merge traffic from N incoming links to be fed to K switch ports and for sending traffic from the K-port switch to N links.