Safe and Effective Fine-Grained TCP Retransmissions for Datacenter Communication

Date Added: Aug 2009
Format: PDF

This paper presents a practical solution to a problem facing high-fan-in, high-bandwidth synchronized TCP workloads in datacenter Ethernets - the TCP incast problem. In these networks, receivers can experience a drastic reduction in application throughput when simultaneously requesting data from many servers using TCP. Inbound data over small switch buffers, leading to TCP timeouts lasting hundreds of milliseconds. For many datacenter workloads that have a barrier synchronization requirement (e.g., file system reads and parallel data-intensive queries), throughput is reduced by up to 90%. For latency-sensitive applications, TCP timeouts in the datacenter impose delays of hundreds of milliseconds in networks with round-trip-times in microseconds.