Review of "Towards Predictable Datacenter Networks"

21 Nov 2015

Review of "Towards Predictable Datacenter Networks"

Problem: Cloud providers usually provide storage resource and computation resource as the main metrics for charging tenants usage. Although quite simple, this misses a critical part of of computation, the intra-cloud network. As a result, cloud providers don't usually guarantee network performance. Thus bring unstable performance to tenant's applications, if they relies heavily on network. Is the problem real? Well, maybe for some cases. But some providers do provide a "dedicate lines" for tenants if they are willing to pay.

Key point & trade-off: This paper proposes extending the tenant-provider interface to explicitly account for the network. The key is provide tenants with a virtual network connecting their compute instances. Which can yield significantly better and more predictable tenant performance while reduce tenant costs by up to 74%. At the same time, the flexibility achieved by using virtual networks can makes rate enforcement, billing, etc on tenants much more easily.

Will this paper be influential in 10 years? Maybe. It proposes a good way to solve the networking quality problem in shared cloud through virtualization.

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