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Make Switches Simple Again!

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The computing community had faced the end of Dennard’s scaling and the slowdown of Moore’s law over a decade ago, prompting a move to multi-core and many-core CPU design. Similar challenges are faced by the networking community today. In this talk, I discuss the limitations on network device’s scalability, and assert that in order to continue and scale cloud computing, network devices need to be significantly simplified. I open-up the architecture of the devices used in most of the world’s network switch-systems, providing in-depth insight into their design and properties, and show how the architecture can scale up to data centre networks. The architecture offers a distributed solution, attending to the limitations of network-switch design, while providing improved performance and significant power savings compared with traditional solutions. With networking requirements ever increasing, I predict the elimination of packet switches, replaced by cell switches in the network, and smart network interface cards at the edges.

This talk is part of the Wednesday Seminars - Department of Computer Science and Technology series.

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