SC20 Proceedings

The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis

FatPaths: Routing in Supercomputers and Data Centers when Shortest Paths Fall Short

Authors: Maciej Besta and Marcel Schneider (ETH Zurich); Marek Konieczny and Karolina Cynk (AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland); and Erik Henriksson, Salvatore Di Girolamo, Ankit Singla, and Torsten Hoefler (ETH Zurich)

Abstract: We introduce FatPaths; a simple, generic and robust routing architecture that enables state-of-the-art low-diameter topologies such as Slim Fly to achieve unprecedented performance. FatPaths targets Ethernet stacks in both HPC supercomputers as well as cloud data centers and clusters. FatPaths exposes and exploits the rich ("fat") diversity of both minimal and non-minimal paths for high-performance multi-pathing. Moreover, FatPaths uses a redesigned "purified" transport layer that removes virtually all TCP performance issues (e.g., the slow start), and incorporates flowlet switching, a technique used to prevent packet reordering in TCP networks, to enable very simple and effective load balancing. Our design enables recent low-diameter topologies to outperform powerful Clos designs, achieving 15% higher net throughput at 2x lower latency for comparable cost. FatPaths will significantly accelerate Ethernet clusters that form more than 50% of the Top500 list and it may become a standard routing scheme for modern topologies.

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