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Stanford University Networking Seminar


Max Mellette (UCSD)
Rethinking Optical Switching in the Data Center

12:15pm, Thursday, April 27 2017
Gates 415

About the Talk

The immense bandwidth requirements of next-generation data center networks provide an opportunity for optical circuit switching to deliver substantial cost and energy advantages over state-of-the-art electronic packet switching. However, existing optical switching proposals face deployment challenges in the data center environment due to limited scalability at the physical layer and/or significant control complexity at the network layer. Our work attempts to overcome these limitations by taking a holistic design approach where we jointly redesign the network architecture and optical switching hardware subject to data center-specific constraints. The end result is a hybrid optical-electronic network solution that delivers higher throughput using less power than a comparably-priced electronic network while remaining practical to deploy and operate at scale.

About the Speaker

William (Max) Mellette is a postdoctoral researcher in Computer Science at UC San Diego working with George Porter on data center network architecture. He received his PhD from UC San Diego in Electrical and Computer Engineering with a concentration in Photonics, where he designed and built optical switches targeting data center networks. His research interests span all aspects of networked systems, with a focus on the intersection of hardware and network design.