In this paper, we put forward a HOListic traffic control framework for datacenter NETworks (HOLNET). HOLNET reformulates the network utility maximization (NUM) framework into a HOLNET NUM framework that fully harnesses the potential of the existing NUM-based solutions to allow large families of traffic control protocols of various degrees of sophistication to be developed, i.e., host-based, single or multiple Class-of-Service (CoS) enabled, single or multi-path congestion control, with or without in-network load balancing. Unlike the existing solutions that are largely empirical and point by design, HOLNET is a principled, systematic framework. All the protocols in a family developed under HOLNET share a common, user-defined global optimization objective and fairness criterion. As a result, the protocols in a family can be fairly compared and carefully selected to fully explore the performance, scalability and design complexity tradeoffs. Case studies, based on both a single and a multi-path host-based solutions, demonstrate the viability and flexibility in HOLNET design space exploration. To further test the backward compatibility and performance with respect to some existing lightweight solutions, we develop HOLNET-UTA, an integrated congestion control and load balancing protocol, achieving TCP-fair resource allocation. HOLNET-UTA is found by simulation to improve the average flow completion time (FCT) by more than 20%, compared to DRILL with DCTCP.