Abstract: The last decade has seen a large-scale commercialization of cloud computing and the emergence of global cloud providers. Cloud providers are expanding their datacenter deployments and backbone capacity, preparing their infrastructure to meet the challenges of rapidly evolving workloads in the cloud. In this talk, I will re-examine the design and operation choices made by cloud providers during this phase of exponential growth using a cross-layer empirical analysis of the wide-area network (WAN) of a large commercial cloud provider. Despite their crucial role in enabling high performance cloud applications and expensive infrastructure, there are several inefficiencies in both the design and operation of cloud WANs. In this talk, I will focus on improving the performance and cost efficiency of the fiber optical network underpinning cloud WANs. First, I will demonstrate how rate-adaptive physical links can harness 75% more capacity from 80% of the optical wavelengths in a cloud WAN, leading to a gain of over 100 terabits of network capacity with 25% fewer link failures. Second, I will show how to achieve a 40% reduction in the hardware costs of provisioning long-haul WAN capacity by optically bypassing network hops where conversion of light signals from optical to electrical domain is unnecessary and uneconomical. I will show that identifying and fixing these inefficiencies in today's cloud networks is crucial for enabling next-generation cloud services.
Bio: Rachee Singh is a senior researcher in the office of the CTO of Microsoft Azure for Operators. Before this, she was a researcher in the Mobility and Networking group of Microsoft Research, Redmond. Her research interests are in computer networking with a focus on wide area network performance and monitoring. Her PhD dissertation was supported by a Google PhD Fellowship in Systems and Networking. Her dissertation won the CICS Outstanding dissertation award at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the SIGCOMM doctoral dissertation award (runner up). She was named a rising star in computer networking by N2Women and a rising star in EECS by UC Berkeley.