3D Beamforming for Wireless Data Centers

Weile Zhang
Xia Zhou
Lei Yang
Zengbin Zhang
Ben Y. Zhao
Haitao Zheng

Proceedings of the 10th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks (HotNets-X)

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Paper Abstract

Contrary to prior assumptions, recent measurements show that data center traffic is not constrained by network bisection bandwidth, but is instead prone to congestion loss caused by short traffic bursts. Compared to the cost and complexity of modifying data center architectures, a much more attractive option is to augment wired links with flexible wireless links in the 60 GHz band. Current proposals, however, are severely constrained by two factors. First, 60 GHz wireless links are limited by line-of-sight, and can be blocked by even small obstacles between the endpoints. Second, even beamforming links leak power, and potential interference will severely limit concurrent transmissions in dense data centers. In this paper, we explore the feasibility of a new wireless primitive for data centers, 3D beamforming. We explore the design space, and show how bouncing 60 GHz wireless links off reflective ceilings can address both link blockage and link interference, thus improving link range and number of current transmissions in the data center.