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SWAN: Software-driven wide area network

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I will describe SWAN , a system that boosts the utilization of inter-datacenter networks beyond 95%, by centrally controlling when and how much traffic each service sends and frequently re-configuring the network’s data plane to match current traffic demand. Done simplistically, network reconfigurations can also cause severe, transient congestion because different switches may apply updates at different times. We develop a new technique that leverages a small amount of scratch capacity on links to apply updates in a provably congestion-free manner, without making any assumptions about the order and timing of updates at individual switches. Further, to scale to large networks in the face of limited forwarding table capacity, SWAN greedily selects a small set of entries that can best satisfy current demand. It updates this set without disrupting traffic by leveraging a small amount of scratch capacity in forwarding tables. Experiments using a prototype and simulations of two production networks show that SWAN carries 60% more traffic than the current practice.

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