Google Research

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

Aquila: A unified, low-latency fabric for datacenter networks (2022)

Abstract

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.

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