Jump to Content

Aquila: A unified, low-latency fabric for datacenter networks

Hema Hariharan
Eric Lance
Moray Mclaren
Stephen Wang
Zhehua Wu
Sunghwan Yoo
Raghuraman Balasubramanian
Prashant Chandra
Michael Cutforth
Peter James Cuy
David Decotigny
Rakesh Gautam
Rick Roy
Zuowei Shen
Ming Tan
Ye Tang
Monica C Wong-Chan
Joe Zbiciak
Aquila: A unified, low-latency fabric for datacenter networks (2022)


Datacenter workloads have evolved from the data intensive, loosely-coupled workloads of the past decade to more tightly coupled ones, wherein ultra-low latency communication is essential for resource disaggregation over the network and to enable emerging programming models. We introduce Aquila, an experimental datacenter network fabric built with ultra-low latency support as a first-class design goal, while also supporting traditional datacenter traffic. Aquila uses a new Layer 2 cell-based protocol, GNet, an integrated switch, and a custom ASIC with low-latency Remote Memory Access (RMA) capabilities co-designed with GNet. We demonstrate that Aquila is able to achieve under 40 μs tail fabric Round Trip Time (RTT) for IP traffic and sub-10 μs RMA execution time across hundreds of host machines, even in the presence of background throughput-oriented IP traffic. This translates to more than 5x reduction in tail latency for a production quality key-value store running on a prototype Aquila network.

Research Areas