PowerTCP: Pushing the Performance Limits of Datacenter Networks


Vamsi Addanki, TU Berlin and University of Vienna; Oliver Michel, Princeton University and University of Vienna; Stefan Schmid, TU Berlin and University of Vienna


Increasingly stringent throughput and latency requirements in datacenter networks demand fast and accurate congestion control. We observe that the reaction time and accuracy of existing datacenter congestion control schemes are inherently limited. They either rely only on explicit feedback about the network state (e.g., queue lengths in DCTCP) or only on variations of state (e.g., RTT gradient in TIMELY). To overcome these limitations, we propose a novel congestion control algorithm, PowerTCP, which achieves much more fine-grained congestion control by adapting to the bandwidth-window product (henceforth called power). PowerTCP leverages in-band network telemetry to react to changes in the network instantaneously without loss of throughput and while keeping queues short. Due to its fast reaction time, our algorithm is particularly well-suited for dynamic network environments and bursty traffic patterns. We show analytically and empirically that PowerTCP can significantly outperform the state-of-the-art in both traditional datacenter topologies and emerging reconfigurable datacenters where frequent bandwidth changes make congestion control challenging. In traditional datacenter networks, PowerTCP reduces tail flow completion times of short flows by 80% compared to DCQCN and TIMELY, and by 33% compared to HPCC even at 60% network load. In reconfigurable datacenters, PowerTCP achieves 85% circuit utilization without incurring additional latency and cuts tail latency by at least 2x compared to existing approaches.

NSDI '22 Open Access Sponsored by
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

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@inproceedings {278346,
author = {Vamsi Addanki and Oliver Michel and Stefan Schmid},
title = {{PowerTCP}: Pushing the Performance Limits of Datacenter Networks},
booktitle = {19th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI 22)},
year = {2022},
isbn = {978-1-939133-27-4},
address = {Renton, WA},
pages = {51--70},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/nsdi22/presentation/addanki},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = apr

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