The Axon Ethernet device
Master of Science
Data centers are growing in importance since computation is moving from personal computers to the Internet. Data centers often use Ethernet as the network fabric; however Ethernet presents fundamental limitations to scalability. This work examines the design, implementation, and characterization of the Axon, a network device that overcomes Ethernet's scalability limitations while maintaining the simplicity of such devices. Axons use cut-through routing to reduce the latency of communication and source-routing both to eliminate the spanning tree and to reduce state within the network. Using just one redundant link in small network has been shown to give a 96% increase to UDP bandwidth and a 63% increase to TCP bandwidth. Experiments confirm that an Axon's latency is an order of magnitude faster than that of a store-and-forward switch in an uncongested network, thereby increasing the potential diameter and improving the scalability of an Ethernet network.
Electronics; Electrical engineering; Computer science