Maelstrom: transparent error correction for communication between data centers
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The global network of data centers is emerging as an important distributed systems paradigm-commodity clusters running high-performance applications, connected by high-speed “lambda” networks across hundreds of milliseconds of network latency. Packet loss on long-haul networks can cripple applications and protocols: A loss rate as low as 0.1% is sufficient to reduce TCP/IP throughput by an order of magnitude on a 1-Gb/s link with 50-ms one-way latency. Maelstrom is an edge appliance that masks packet loss transparently and quickly from intercluster protocols, aggregating traffic for high-speed encoding and using a new forward error correction scheme to handle bursty loss.