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Load-balanced switches have received much attention because they are more scalable than other switch architectures. However, a load-balanced switch has the problem of packet mis-sequencing. In this paper, the authors propose a Dynamic Mailbox Sharing (DMS) scheme to eliminate the mis-sequencing problem of load-balanced switches only at the cost of a very small increase of delay. The key idea is to keep packets of the same flow in order in the load-balanced switch. The DMS scheme is based on two statistical facts in operational networks: the number of simultaneous active flows in the router buffer is far less than that of in-progress flows, and most of the intra-flow packet intervals are longer than the packet delay in the high speed router.
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