Optical Space Switches in Data Centers: Issues with Transport Protocols

Mamun Abu-Tair, Philip Perry, PJ Morrow, Sally I McClean, Bryan Scotney, Gerard Parr, Israfil Biswas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
108 Downloads (Pure)


A number of new architectures for data centre networks employing reconfigurable, SDN controlled, all-optical networks have been reported in recent years. In most cases, additional capacity was added to the system which unsurprisingly improved performance. In this study, a generalised network model that emulates the behaviour of these types of network was developed but where the total capacity is maintained constant so that system behaviour can be understood. An extensive emulated study is presented which indicates that the reconfiguration of such a network can have a detrimental impact on Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) congestion control mechanisms that can degrade the performance of the system. A number of simple scheduling mechanisms were investigated and the results show that an on-demand scheduling mechanism could deliver a throughput increase of more than 50% without any increase in total installed network capacity. These results, therefore, indicate the need to link the network resource management with new datacentre network architectures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 22 Feb 2019


  • Optical space switch
  • Transport layer
  • SDN


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