Optical Multidimensional Switching for Data Center Networks

Valerija Kamchevska

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesis

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Optical switches are known for the ability to provide high bandwidth connectivity at a relatively low power consumption and low latency. Several recent demonstrations on optical data center architectures confirm the potential for introducing all-optical switching within the data center, thus avoiding power hungry optical-electrical-optical conversions at each node. This Ph.D. thesis focuses precisely on the application of optical technologies in data center networks where optics is not only used for extending the reach, but more importantly the benefits of photonic devices are exploited for the purpose of deploying optical switching within the network. First, the Hi-Ring data center architecture is proposed. It is based on optical multidimensional switching nodes that provide switching in hierarchically layered space, wavelength and time domain. The performance of the Hi-Ring architecture is evaluated experimentally and successful switching of both high capacity wavelength connections and time-shared subwavelengthconnections is demonstrated. Error-free performance is also achieved when transmitting 7 Tbit/s using multicore fiber, confirming the ability to scale the network. Moreover, the limitations of previously proposed optical subwavelength switching technologies are discussed and a novel concept of optical time division multiplexed switching is proposed. A detailed elaboration of the envisioned scheme is given, with a special focus on the problem of synchronization. A novel synchronization algorithm for the Hi-Ring architecture is proposed and experimentally validated. Furthermore, software controlled switching in the data plane is experimentally demonstrated when the proposed algorithm is used for synchronization. Finally, integration is discussed from two different perspectives: the first one referring to hardware-software integration where the data plane is integrated with a centralized control plane deploying a software defined controller, and the second one referring to on-chip integration of devices in the data plane ultimately leading to integrated systems and networks on chip. Software controlled switching using an on-chip integrated fiber switch is demonstrated and enabling of additional network functionalities such as multicast and optical grooming is experimentally confirmed. Altogether this work demonstrates the potential of optical switching technologies and their implementation in future data center networks.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages137
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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