Seminar • Systems and Networking • Data Center Network-Application Integration: Trends and Breakthroughs

Friday, December 10, 2021 2:00 pm - 2:00 pm EST (GMT -05:00)

Please note: This seminar will be given online.

Yashar Ganjali
Chief Scientist and Director, Data Center Networking Laboratory, Huawei
Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto

What is the future of data center networking? What are the core needs and principles that drive the evolution of DCN? Can we identify these trends and use them to design better networks for the future? In this presentation, we argue that we need to create explicit channels between applications and networks to exchange their requirements and capabilities. This joint design of networks and applications, which we call Data Center Network-Application Integration (or DC-NAI), can be a major driving for future data center networks.

We justify this point using several examples, showing how lack of direct communication between networks and layers above has led to challenging historical problems, making many ongoing efforts in this direction futile in long-term. We show how DC-NAI can provide significant performance boosts to data center networks by leveraging the information available through applications to provide powerful mechanisms to estimate and predict user demands and to jointly optimizing the behavior of applications and networks. Alternatively, applications can gain significant benefits if the network provides explicit signals about its current state.

We go through high levels ideas on how we can keep this idea generic (as opposed to focusing on specific classes of applications), and how we can mostly hide the complexity of the underlying system from end-users and application developers. Finally, we provide a brief discussion on economic implications of DC-NAI and potential opportunities it can bring about in the future.

Bio: Yashar Ganjali is a chief scientist, and the director of Data Center Networking Laboratory at Huawei, and a professor of computer science at the University of Toronto. His research interests include data center networking, packet switching architectures/algorithms, software defined networking and controller design, network application integration, and congestion control. His work on router buffer sizing, as well as distributed controllers for software-defined networks has had a major impact on research trends in these areas, and major practical implications for industry.

Dr. Ganjali has received several awards for his research including best paper award in Internet Measurement Conference 2008, best paper runner up in IEEE INFOCOM 2003, best demo runner up in SIGCOMM 2008, first and second prizes in NetFPGA Design Competition 2010, best paper award IEEE/IFIP Network Operations Management Symposium 2020, Cisco Research Award, and a Distinguished Faculty Award from Facebook. Dr. Ganjali has served as a member of the executive committee for ACM SIGCOMM (2013-17), as well as an associate editor for IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking (2014-18).

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