Architectures and algorithms for high performance switching

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Prakash, Amit

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Switches are ubiquitous in modern computing, appearing in wide-area networks, multiprocessor servers, and data storage systems. With the the advent of high-speed link technology, switches have become the bottleneck in moving data in the network. Existing switch architectures either require the interconnection network and packet buffers to work at a very high speed or require complex scheduling problems to be solved quickly. In this dissertation we investigate whether there are switch architectures that can support high-speed links that are simultaneously easy to schedule, and can be built out of inexpensive components. The approach we take is using parallelism to solve complex scheduling problems. We choose switching architectures such that the corresponding scheduling problem can be efficiently solved with a reasonable amount of hardware. In particular, we present two switch architectures for which we have developed efficient scheduling algorithms. The first switch achieves optimum throughput and optimum average latency while the second switch guarantees optimum throughput only but uses considerably less hardware.