AggreFlow: Achieving Power Efficiency, Load Balancing, and Quality of Service in Data Center Networks

Zehua Guo, Yang Xu, Ya Feng Liu, Sen Liu, H. Jonathan Chao, Zhi Li Zhang, Yuanqing Xia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Power-efficient Data Center Networks (DCNs) have been proposed to save power of DCNs using OpenFlow. In these DCNs, the OpenFlow controller adaptively turns on/off links and OpenFlow switches to form a minimum-power subnet that satisfies the traffic demand. As the subnet changes, flows are dynamically routed and rerouted to the routes composed of active switches and links. However, existing flow scheduling schemes could cause undesired results: (1) power inefficiency: due to unbalanced traffic allocation on active routes, extra switches and links may be activated to cater to bursty traffic surges on congested routes, and (2) Quality of Service (QoS) fluctuation: because of the limited flow entry processing ability, switches may not be able to timely install/delete/update flow entries to properly route/reroute flows. In this paper, we propose AggreFlow, a dynamic flow scheduling scheme that achieves power efficiency and QoS improvement using three techniques: Flow-set Routing, Lazy Rerouting, and Adaptive Rerouting. Flow-set Routing achieves load balancing with a small number of flow entry operations by routing flows in a coarse-grained flow-set fashion. Lazy Rerouting spreads rerouting operations over a relatively long period of time, reducing the burstiness of entry operation on switches. Adaptive Rerouting selectively reroutes flow-sets to maintain load balancing. We built an NS3 based fat-tree network simulation platform to evaluate AggreFlow's performance. The simulation results show that AggreFlow reduces power consumption by about 18%, yet achieving load balancing and improved QoS (low packet loss rate and reducing the number of processing entries for flow scheduling by 98%), compared with baseline schemes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9253693
Pages (from-to)17-33
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received September 5, 2019; revised March 22, 2020 and May 9, 2020; accepted August 22, 2020; approved by IEEE/ACM TRANSACTIONS ON NETWORKING Editor E. Uysal. Date of publication November 10, 2020; date of current version February 17, 2021. The work was supported in part by the National Key Research and Development Program of China under Grant 2018YFB1003700, in part by the Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant 62002019, Grant 11688101, Grant 11671419, Grant 11991021, and Grant 62002066, in part by the Beijing Institute of Technology Research Fund Program for Young Scholars, in part by the Project “PCL Future Greater-Bay Area Network Facilities for Large-scale Experiments and Applications (LZC0019)”, and in part by the U.S. NSF under Grant CNS-1618339, Grant CNS-1617729, and Grant CNS-1814322. This article was presented in part at IEEE/ACM IWQoS 2016. (Corresponding author: Yang Xu.) Zehua Guo and Yuanqing Xia are with the Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China.

Publisher Copyright:
© 1993-2012 IEEE.


  • Flow scheduling
  • OpenFlow
  • power saving
  • power-efficient data center networks


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