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Notes on Modern Data Center Networking

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Date Description
Oct 2, 2021 Planning

This is my note on datacenter networking. This is work-in-progress. I will try to cover the following topics:

  • Peering
  • Cloud gateways
  • Cloud internal routing
  • Networking Topology
  • Software Defined Networking (SDN) and OpenFlow
  • Networking Load Balancers
  • Networking Upgrade
  • Switch Hardware and Software (e.g., p4 switch)
  • Host-side NIC Design
  • Host-side Network Virtualization (e.g., OpenVSwitch and VPC)
  • Transport Design (Retransmission and Congestion Control)
  • RDMA and RoCE
  • Host-side Networking Stack Design


I should draw a figure, including host side network stack/nic, switch, topologies, sdn controllers and so on. And list which parts demand attention.

Peering, Gateway, and Routing


Clos, fat-tree, jupiter, vl2, fb’s 40/100g topology.

SDN and OpenFlow

Orion, and its predecessor.


NSDI papers, live update, cost.

Network Virtualization

openvswitch, Andromeda.

Host Networking Stack


Special Topics

This section covers special topics.

Special Topcis on Transport Design

and programmable transport

Congestion Control

Shallow switch buffer. DCTCP.

Special Topics on RDMA and RoCE

Speical Topics on Programmable Switch and SmartNIC

Special Topics on Kernel-Bypassing Netork Stacks

RPC papers. ZygOS, Shenengo, Arrakis etc. whole stack design.

Special Topics on Packet Scheduling

PIFO etc.

Special Topics on Datacenter Traffic Study

IMC‘10 etc.

Special Topics on Middlebox and Network Function Virtualization (NFV)

Special Topics on Circuit Switches


Special Topics on Failure, Reliability

Link error rate. Applied erasure coding on packets. Trace studies.

Cloud Case Studies

In this section, we look at popular cloud vendors and briefly their networking stack status.


Their networking services



Google Cloud

1RMA, Swifit, Snap, Orion


p4 switch.

Last update: October 12, 2021


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