Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

Committee Chair

Douglas Comer

Committee Member 1

Kihong Park

Committee Member 2

Roopsha Samanta

Committee Member 3

Sanjay Rao


Migration of enterprise computation and storage to cloud data centers has imposed new communication requirements and a need for fundamental changes in infrastructure. As more applications are hosted inside virtual machines and containers in the cloud, a significant amount of networking occurs within data centers, increasing the so-called east-west communication. With the increasing use of virtual machines and their migration across physical servers, future data centers must support efficient mobility in addition to traditional requirements of scalability and easy manageability. This dissertation proposes and analyzes a radical redesign of data center networks, using a new approach called DCnet. DCnet changes the addressing and routing at layers 2 and 3 completely. The new design allows an organization to assign addresses that span multiple data centers and allows virtual machines to be migrated freely within a single data center as well as across data centers. DCnet retains compatibility with existing hardware by using the same fundamental principles of Ethernet and IP. DCnet uses a unique ID to identify virtual machines, and derives an IP address by appending the unique ID to an IP prefix. Consequently, DCnet is able to use both IPv6 and IPv4 natively; this dissertation uses IPv6 in examples. Furthermore, DCnet does not require any changes to the host environments including operating systems, application programming interfaces, libraries or applications, thus providing a feasible solution for future data centers.