This paper presents BCube, a new network architecture specifically designed for shipping-container based, modular data centers. At the core of the BCube architecture is its server-centric network structure, where servers with multiple network ports connect to multiple layers of COTS (commodity off-the-shelf) mini-switches. Servers act as not only end hosts, but also relay nodes for each other. BCube supports various bandwidth-intensive applications by speeding-up one-to-one, one-to-several, and one-to-all traffic patterns, and by providing high network capacity for all-to-all traffic.
BCube exhibits graceful performance degradation as the server and/or switch failure rate increases. This property is of special importance for shipping-container data centers, since once the container is sealed and operational, it becomes very difficult to repair or replace its components.
Our implementation experiences show that BCube can be seamlessly integrated with the TCP/IP protocol stack and BCube packet forwarding can be efficiently implemented in both hardware and software. Experiments in our testbed demonstrate that BCube is fault tolerant and load balancing and it significantly accelerates representative bandwidth-intensive applications.