University of California, San Diego computer scientists have created software that they hope will lead to data centers that logically function as single, plug-and-play networks that will scale to today’s massive data center networks. The software system—PortLand—is a fault-tolerant, layer 2 data center network fabric capable of scaling to 100,000 nodes and beyond.
PortLand is fully compatible with existing hardware and routing protocols and holds promise for supporting large-scale, data center networks by increasing inherent scalability, providing baseline support for virtual machines and migration, and dramatically reducing administrative overhead. Critically, it removes the reliance on a single spanning tree, natively leveraging multipath routing and improving fault tolerance.
The computer scientists (Radhika Niranjan Mysore, Andreas Pamboris, Nathan Farrington, Nelson Huang, Pardis Miri, Sivasankar Radhakrishnan, Vikram Subramanya, and Amin Vahdat) reported this advance in data center networking on August 18, 2009 at SIGCOMM, the premier computer networking conference.