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Source routing with fabric switches in an ethernet fabric network / International Business Machines Corporation




Title: Source routing with fabric switches in an ethernet fabric network.
Abstract: In one embodiment, a system includes a network fabric having a plurality of fabric switches interconnected in the network fabric and a switch controller having logic adapted to configure the network fabric, determine one or more paths through the network fabric between any two hosts connected thereto, and create a source-routing table to store the one or more paths through the network fabric between any two hosts connected thereto. In another embodiment, a method includes receiving or creating a packet using a NIC of a host connected to a network fabric having a plurality of fabric switches interconnected therein, determining a path through the network fabric by consulting a source-routing table stored to the host, storing source-routing information to a packet header for the packet, the source-routing information including the path, and sending the packet to a first device or hop indicated by the path in the source-routing information. ...


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USPTO Applicaton #: #20140241345
Inventors: Casimer M. Decusatis, Mircea Gusat, Keshav G. Kamble, Cyriel J. Minkenberg, Vijoy A. Pandey, Renato J. Recio


The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20140241345, Source routing with fabric switches in an ethernet fabric network.

BACKGROUND

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The present invention relates to data center infrastructure, and more particularly, this invention relates to reducing the overhead associated with using look-up tables in fabric switches to reduce latency.

A switching processor, such as a switching application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), may be used to choose a port to send received network packets. Typically, a look-up table is utilized to choose which port to send a received packet based on a destination address designated in a header of the received packet. However, as fabric networks grow larger, these look-up tables may encompass vast amounts of data, which causes latency in using the look-up table to determine an egress port to forward packets to. Accordingly, it would be beneficial to have a method to reduce the overhead associated with using look-up tables in fabric switches in order to reduce fabric latency.

SUMMARY

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In one embodiment, a system for source routing packets includes a network fabric having a plurality of fabric switches interconnected in the network fabric and a switch controller having logic adapted to configure the network fabric, determine one or more paths through the network fabric between any two hosts connected thereto, and create a source-routing table to store the one or more paths through the network fabric between any two hosts connected thereto.

According to another embodiment, a computer program product for source routing packets includes a computer readable storage medium having program code embodied therewith, the program code readable/executable by a switch controller to: configure a network fabric having a plurality of fabric switches interconnected in the network fabric, determine one or more paths through the network fabric between any two hosts connected thereto, and create a source-routing table to store the one or more paths through the network fabric between any two hosts connected thereto.

In another embodiment, a method for source routing packets includes receiving or creating a packet using a network interface card (NIC) of a host connected to a network fabric having a plurality of fabric switches interconnected therein, determining a path through the network fabric by consulting a source-routing table stored to the host, storing source-routing information to a packet header for the packet, the source-routing information including the path, and sending the packet to a first device or hop indicated by the path in the source-routing information.

In yet another embodiment, a method for source routing packets includes receiving a packet, receiving source-routing information with a fabric switch interconnected to other fabric switches in a network fabric, the source-routing information being sent from a switch controller, storing the source-routing information to a source-routing table that indicates a sequence of devices or hops between the fabric switch and each known destination address in the network fabric, determining a next device or hop in a path through the network fabric by consulting the source-routing table, storing a portion of the source-routing information to a packet header for the packet, the portion of the source-routing information including at least a portion of the path, and sending the packet to the next device or hop indicated by the at least the portion of the path in the portion of the source-routing information.

Other aspects and embodiments of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description, which, when taken in conjunction with the drawings, illustrate by way of example the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a network architecture, in accordance with one embodiment.

FIG. 2 shows a representative hardware environment that may be associated with the servers and/or clients of FIG. 1, in accordance with one embodiment.

FIG. 3 shows a system for source routing packets, according to one embodiment.

FIG. 4 shows an exemplary path through a network fabric, according to one embodiment.

FIG. 5A shows an exemplary frame format for a packet having source-routing information, according to one embodiment.

FIG. 5B is an exemplary tag protocol identifier, according to one embodiment.

FIG. 6 is a flowchart of a method, according to one embodiment.

FIG. 7 is a flowchart of a method, according to one embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

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The following description is made for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the present invention and is not meant to limit the inventive concepts claimed herein. Further, particular features described herein can be used in combination with other described features in each of the various possible combinations and permutations.

Unless otherwise specifically defined herein, all terms are to be given their broadest possible interpretation including meanings implied from the specification as well as meanings understood by those skilled in the art and/or as defined in dictionaries, treatises, etc.

It must also be noted that, as used in the specification and the appended claims, the singular forms “a,” “an,” and “the” include plural referents unless otherwise specified.

In one general embodiment, a system for source routing packets includes a network fabric having a plurality of fabric switches interconnected in the network fabric and a switch controller having logic adapted to configure the network fabric, determine one or more paths through the network fabric between any two hosts connected thereto, and create a source-routing table to store the one or more paths through the network fabric between any two hosts connected thereto.

According to another general embodiment, a computer program product for source routing packets includes a computer readable storage medium having program code embodied therewith, the program code readable/executable by a switch controller to: configure a network fabric having a plurality of fabric switches interconnected in the network fabric, determine one or more paths through the network fabric between any two hosts connected thereto, and create a source-routing table to store the one or more paths through the network fabric between any two hosts connected thereto.

In another general embodiment, a method for source routing packets includes receiving or creating a packet using a network interface card (NIC) of a host connected to a network fabric having a plurality of fabric switches interconnected therein, determining a path through the network fabric by consulting a source-routing table stored to the host, storing source-routing information to a packet header for the packet, the source-routing information including the path, and sending the packet to a first device or hop indicated by the path in the source-routing information.

In yet another general embodiment, a method for source routing packets includes receiving a packet, receiving source-routing information with a fabric switch interconnected to other fabric switches in a network fabric, the source-routing information being sent from a switch controller, storing the source-routing information to a source-routing table that indicates a sequence of devices or hops between the fabric switch and each known destination address in the network fabric, determining a next device or hop in a path through the network fabric by consulting the source-routing table, storing a portion of the source-routing information to a packet header for the packet, the portion of the source-routing information including at least a portion of the path, and sending the packet to the next device or hop indicated by the at least the portion of the path in the portion of the source-routing information.

By using a switch controller, such as a controller operating OpenFlow software (an OpenFlow Controller) or a switch controller that operates according to software-defined network (SDN) standards, a plurality of switches in a network fabric which are capable of communicating with the switch controller may be instructed of desirable paths with which to forward received packets in order to best utilize the network fabric. To accomplish this, intelligence or functionality may be built into the switch controller to determine paths through the network fabric and to deliver these desired paths to individual switches in the network fabric that are compliant with whatever software the switch controller utilizes. In addition, in one approach, when the switch controller operates according to OpenFlow and/or SDN standards, the switches may be OpenFlow and/or SDN compliant in order to utilize the source routing techniques described herein.

As will be appreciated by one skilled in the art, aspects of the present invention may be embodied as a system, method or computer program product. Accordingly, aspects of the present invention may take the form of an entirely hardware embodiment, an entirely software embodiment (including firmware, resident software, micro-code, etc.) or an embodiment combining software and hardware aspects that may all generally be referred to herein as “logic,” a “circuit,” “module,” or “system.” Furthermore, aspects of the present invention may take the form of a computer program product embodied in one or more computer readable medium(s) having computer readable program code embodied thereon.

Any combination of one or more computer readable medium(s) may be utilized. The computer readable medium may be a computer readable signal medium or a non-transitory computer readable storage medium. A non-transitory computer readable storage medium may be, for example, but not limited to, a system, apparatus, device, or any suitable combination of the foregoing which may rely on any suitable technology types, such as electronic, magnetic, optical, electromagnetic, infrared, semiconductor, etc. More specific examples (a non-exhaustive list) of the non-transitory computer readable storage medium include the following: a portable computer diskette, a hard disk, a random access memory (RAM), a read-only memory (ROM), an erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM or Flash memory), a portable compact disc read-only memory (CD-ROM), a Blu-ray disc read-only memory (BD-ROM), an optical storage device, a magnetic storage device, or any suitable combination of the foregoing. In the context of this document, a non-transitory computer readable storage medium may be any tangible medium that is capable of containing, or storing a program or application for use by or in connection with an instruction execution system, apparatus, or device.

A computer readable signal medium may include a propagated data signal with computer readable program code embodied therein, for example, in baseband or as part of a carrier wave. Such a propagated signal may take any of a variety of forms, including, but not limited to, electro-magnetic, optical, or any suitable combination thereof. A computer readable signal medium may be any computer readable medium that is not a non-transitory computer readable storage medium and that can communicate, propagate, or transport a program for use by or in connection with an instruction execution system, apparatus, or device, such as an electrical connection having one or more wires, an optical fibre, etc.

Program code embodied on a computer readable medium may be transmitted using any appropriate medium, including but not limited to wireless, wireline, optical fibre cable, RF, etc., or any suitable combination of the foregoing.

Computer program code for carrying out operations for aspects of the present invention may be written in any combination of one or more programming languages, including an object oriented programming language such as Java, Smalltalk, C++, or the like, and conventional procedural programming languages, such as the “C” programming language or similar programming languages. The program code may execute entirely on a user\'s computer, partly on the user\'s computer, as a stand-alone software package, partly on the user\'s computer and partly on a remote computer or entirely on the remote computer or server. In the latter scenario, the remote computer or server may be connected to the user\'s computer through any type of network, including a local area network (LAN), storage area network (SAN), and/or a wide area network (WAN), or the connection may be made to an external computer, for example through the Internet using an Internet Service Provider (ISP).




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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20140241345 A1
Publish Date
08/28/2014
Document #
File Date
12/31/1969
USPTO Class
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
/
Drawings
0


Ethernet Source Routing

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International Business Machines Corporation


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Multiplex Communications   Pathfinding Or Routing   Combined Circuit Switching And Packet Switching   Routing Packets Through A Circuit Switching Network  

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20140828|20140241345|source routing with fabric switches in an ethernet fabric network|In one embodiment, a system includes a network fabric having a plurality of fabric switches interconnected in the network fabric and a switch controller having logic adapted to configure the network fabric, determine one or more paths through the network fabric between any two hosts connected thereto, and create a |International-Business-Machines-Corporation
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