Delay-Optimal Scheduling for Data Center Networks and Input-Queued Switches in Heavy Traffic
Today's era of cloud computing is powered by massive data centers. A data center network enables the exchange of data in the form of packets among the servers within these data centers. Given the size of today's data centers, it is desirable to design low-complexity scheduling algorithms which result in a fixed average packet delay, independent of the size of the data center. We consider the scheduling problem in an input-queued switch, which is a good abstraction for a data center network. In particular, we study the queue length (equivalently, delay) behavior under the so-called MaxWeight scheduling algorithm, which has low computational complexity. Under various traffic patterns, we show that the algorithm achieves optimal scaling of the heavy-traffic scaled queue length with respect to the size of the switch. This settles one version of an open conjecture that has been a central question in the area of stochastic networks. We obtain this result by using a Lyapunov-type drift technique to characterize the heavy-traffic behavior of the expected total queue length in the network, in steady-state.