The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

San Diego Convention Center,
San Diego, California, USA

SC359 - Datacenter Networking 101

Sunday, 19 March
09:00 - 13:00

Short Course Level: Beginner


Cedric Lam, Hong Liu; Google, USA

Short Course Description:

Datacenter networks have been rapidly growing in the last decade.   It is the enabling force for new applications such as cloud computing, internet content streaming, Internet of everything, big data, etc.  Datacenter networks have also become a main force driving the business and development of fiber optic communication technologies.

This course describes architecture philosophies and technological considerations in constructing modern data center networks, with an emphasis on the roles of optical networking technologies.   We will introduce the key optical technologies for inter and intra datacenter networks, the trade-offs among various implementation options, and the trends in the next 3 to 4 years.

Technologies developed for datacenter networks are also shaping the development of modern telecommunication networks, which needs to evolve in order to support the growing need generated by cloud computing.  In this course, we will explain how datacenter technologies are applied in telecommunication networks as well.

Short Course Benefits:

This course should enable you to:

  • Define warehouse-scale computer (WSC) and describe its structure.

  • Describe the engineering principles and philosophies behind scalable mega-datacenter infrastructures.

  • Compare different datacenter cluster topologies and switching technologies.

  • Compare the differences and similarities between traditional telecommunication networks and booming data-communication networks.

  • Identify the challenges for intra-datacenter and inter-datacenter communications.

  • Select suitable optoelectronic interconnect technologies.

  • Explain the roles of optics in transmission, multiplexing and switching.

  • Describe SDN and NFV.

Short Course Audience:

This course is beneficial to optoelectronic engineers, fiber optic transceiver designers and optical transmission engineers who would like to understand the requirements of datacenter networking.  It also benefits network engineers with the knowledge of high-speed optical communication technologies used to realize various datacenter network applications.  For network planners and architects, this course provides outlooks in optical network technology developments in the next 3 to 4 years.

Instructor Biography:

Cedric F. Lam was a founder of Google Fiber.  He is currently Engineering Director at Google Access, responsible for the planning and development of scalable and cost-effective next generation access technologies to provide diverse and abundant bandwidths.  Prior to Google Fiber, he was working on transport and interconnect technologies for Google datacenters. Before joining Google, Dr. Lam was Chief System Architect at Opvista which made ultra-high density WDM transport systems.  Prior to Opvista, Dr. Lam was Senior Technical Staff Member at AT&T Labs, Broadband Access Research Department. Dr. Lam has a PhD from UCLA and B. Eng. (First Class Honors) from University of Hong Kong, both in Electrical Engineering. 

Hong Liu is a Principal Engineer and Director at Google Technical Infrastructure, where she is involved in the system architecture and interconnect for a large-scale computing platform. Her research interests include interconnection networks, high-speed signaling, optical access and metro design. Prior to joining Google, Hong was a Member of Technical Staff at Juniper Networks, where she worked on the architecture and design of network core routers and multi-chassis switches.  Hong received her Ph.D in electrical engineering from Stanford University. 

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