Fast and Efficient Bulk Multicasting over Dedicated Inter-Datacenter Networks

Several organizations have built multiple datacenters connected via dedicated wide area networks over which large inter-datacenter transfers take place. This includes tremendous volumes of bulk multicast traffic generated as a result of data and content replication. Although one can perform these transfers using a single multicast forwarding tree, that can lead to poor performance as the slowest receiver on each tree dictates the completion time for all receivers. Using multiple trees per transfer each connected to a subset of receivers alleviates this concern. The choice of multicast trees also determines the total bandwidth usage. To further improve the performance, bandwidth over dedicated inter-datacenter networks can be carved for different multicast trees over specific time periods to avoid congestion and minimize the average receiver completion times. In this paper, we break this problem into the three sub-problems of partitioning, tree selection, and rate allocation. We present an algorithm called QuickCast which is computationally fast and allows us to significantly speed up multiple receivers per bulk multicast transfer with control over extra bandwidth consumption. We evaluate QuickCast against a variety of synthetic and real traffic patterns as well as real WAN topologies. Compared to performing bulk multicast transfers as separate unicast transfers, QuickCast achieves up to 3.64× reduction in mean completion times while at the same time using 0.71× the bandwidth. Also, QuickCast allows the top 50% of receivers to complete between 3× to 35× faster on average compared with when a single forwarding multicast tree is used for data delivery.


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