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Power-Efficient Datacenter Networks with Server-to-Server Millimeter-Wave Wireless Communications

Amlan Ganguly


Datacenters have evolved to be an important part of the digital lifestyle in the modern world. As a part of cloud computing platforms, datacenters provide large storage banks and processing power for cloud-based services. According to a 2016 report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, it is projected that the power consumption of all datacenters in the USA is going to be 73 billion KWh per year by 2020 and the power consumption of the Datacenter Network (DCN) will continuously increase to support the increasing demand for bandwidth. Keeping this high-fidelity network active, often constructed from legacy switching fabrics, consumes 10 to 50% of the total IT power of the datacenter depending on server utilization. This demonstrates the immediate need to improve efficiency and power consumption of datacenters in general and DCNs in particular. To address the design issues of traditional datacenters, wireless datacenter architectures are being investigated. The capability of the unlicensed millimeter-wave (mm-wave) bands such as the 60GHz band, to deliver multi-gigabit data rates has led to the design and development 60GHz wireless DCNs.

In this talk we will explore a wireless DCN architecture capable of establishing direct communication links between thousands of servers in a datacenter. This architecture eliminates the power-hungry switching fabric required in traditional tree-based DCNs thereby, reducing the power consumption of DCNs by an order of magnitude. Through network-level simulations using NS-3 we will demonstrate that this server-to-server wireless DCN is capable of providing comparable performance as that of traditional DCNs for various types of applications, while reducing the power consumption significantly. In addition to wireless DCNs, we will also discuss the opportunities and advantages of inter-chip wireless communication within servers in the datacenter. We will also explore future research directions that need to be undertaken to improve the performance of wireless DCNs.


Amlan Ganguly is an Associate Professor in the department of Computer Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY. His research interests are in power and energy efficiency of interconnection networks for computing systems such as datacenters, multi-chip systems and embedded platforms. His current primary focus is in millimeter-wave wireless interconnection networks for datacenters and inter-chip communications. He received the US National Science Foundation Faculty Early CAREER Development Award in 2015-2016 for his research on wireless datacenter networks. His research is funded by US NSF, Toyota Material Handling North America (TMHNA). He serves on the editorial board of the Elsevier Journal of Sustainable Computing (SUSCOM) and MDPI Journal of Low Power Electronics and Applications (JLPEA). He is a member of the organizing committee of the International Network-on-Chip Symposium (NOCS), International Conference on Green and Sustainable Computing (IGSC) and the Workshop on System-Level Interconnect Prediction (SLIP). He also routinely serves on the Technical Program Committee for several conferences and symposia. He has published 55 technical papers in reputed peer-reviewed journals, conferences and workshops.

Amlan Ganguly Headshot
Amlan Ganguly
Rochester Institute of Technology
EEB 105
10 Apr 2018, 10:30am until 11:30am