Optical switching techniques featuring the fast and large capacity have the potential to enable low latency and high throughput optical data center networks (DCN) to afford the rapid increasing of traffic-boosted applications. Flexibility of the DCN is of key importance to provide adaptive and dynamic bandwidth to handle the variable traffic patterns generated by the heterogeneous applications while optimizing the network resources. Aiming at providing the flexible bandwidth for optical DCNs, we propose and experimentally investigate a software-defined networking (SDN) enabled reconfigurable optical DCN architecture based on novel optical top of rack (OToR) switch exploiting photonic-integrated wavelength selective switch. Experimental results show that the optical bandwidth per link can be automatically reallocated under the management of the deployed SDN control plane according to the variable traffic patterns. With respect to the network with inflexible interconnections, the average packet loss of the reconfigurable DCN decreases 1 order of magnitude and the server-to-server latency performance improves of 42.2%. Scalability investigation illustrates limited (11.7%) performance degradation as the reconfigurable network scale from 2560 to 40960 servers. Both the numerical and experimental assessments validate the proposed DCN with reconfigurable bandwidth feature and lower latency variations with respect to the inflexible DCNs.
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