Google Research

Jupiter Rising: A Decade of Clos Topologies and Centralized Control in Google's Datacenter Network

  • Arjun Singh
  • Joon Ong
  • Amit Agarwal
  • Glen Anderson
  • Ashby Armistead
  • Roy Bannon
  • Seb Boving
  • Gaurav Desai
  • Bob Felderman
  • Paulie Germano
  • Anand Kanagala
  • Hong Liu
  • Jeff Provost
  • Jason Simmons
  • Eiichi Tanda
  • Jim Wanderer
  • Urs Hölzle
  • Stephen Stuart
  • Amin Vahdat
Communications of the ACM, vol. Vol. 59, No. 9 (2016), pp. 88-97


We present our approach for overcoming the cost, operational complexity, and limited scale endemic to datacenter networks a decade ago. Three themes unify the five generations of datacenter networks detailed in this paper. First, multi-stage Clos topologies built from commodity switch silicon can support cost-effective deployment of building-scale networks. Second, much of the general, but complex, decentralized network routing and management protocols supporting arbitrary deployment scenarios were overkill for single-operator, pre-planned datacenter networks. We built a centralized control mechanism based on a global configuration pushed to all datacenter switches. Third, modular hardware design coupled with simple, robust software allowed our design to also support inter-cluster and wide-area networks. Our datacenter networks run at dozens of sites across the planet, scaling in capacity by 100x over 10 years to more than 1 Pbps of bisection bandwidth.

Learn more about how we do research

We maintain a portfolio of research projects, providing individuals and teams the freedom to emphasize specific types of work