The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

San Diego Convention Center,
San Diego, California, USA

Panel IV: What Is Next for Data Center Interconnects?

Wednesday, 11 March
15:30 - 17:00
Expo Theater I

Moderator: Loukas Paraschis, Senior Director, Infinera, USA

Panel Description:

The networks interconnecting datacenters, often referred to as Data Center Interconnects (DCIs), have grown more than any other transport infrastructure in the last decade, and DCI’s are projected to grow by several orders of magnitude in the coming years.  The economics associated with DCI growth have motivated: 1) dedicated DCIs accounting for some of the most spectrally efficient fiber networks deployed globally, and 2) a new class of purpose-built systems optimized for throughput and power consumption.  The emergence of DCIs has led to extensive adoption of software innovations in automation, programmability, management abstraction, and control-plane disaggregation, as well as the introduction of the associated open transport architectures.   

This panel will discuss the extent to which these innovations have been adopted in current and future DCI networks.  For example, 400GE coherent WDM pluggables in DCI routers have been advocated, often combined with system and control-plane disaggregation, in open (multi-vendor) network architectures that minimize operational overhead without compromising significantly transport network performance. At the same time, the potential value from optimization and traffic engineering, such as from network analytics, potentially even combined with optical margin “harvesting” or restoration in addition to IP/MPLS protection, has also recently been proposed.   

This panel will introduce the views of several industry leaders in this area and evoke discussion among panelists and the floor. 


Andy Bechtolsheim, Founder, Chief Development Officer and Chairman, Arista Networks, USA

Nancy El-Sakkary, Staff Network Engineer, Google, USA

Michael Strunz-Kroll, Head of Architecture and Engineering, euNetworks, Germany

Chongjin Xie, Senior Director, Alibaba Group, USA

Yawei Yin, Principal Network Developer Manager, Microsoft, USA
Getting More into Less: A Cloud Provider’s View of the Future of DCI Optical Network.


Andy Bechtolsheim, Founder, Chief Development Officer and Chairman, Arista Networks, USA

As Chief Development Officer, Andy Bechtolsheim is responsible for the overall product development and technical direction of Arista Networks.

Previously Andy was a Founder and Chief System Architect at Sun Microsystems, where most recently he was responsible for industry standard server architecture. Andy was also a Founder and President of Granite Systems, a Gigabit Ethernet startup acquired by Cisco Systems in 1996. From 1996 until 2003 Andy served as VP/GM of the Gigabit Systems Business Unit at Cisco that developed the very successful Catalyst 4500 family of switches. Andy was also a Founder and President of Kealia, a next generation server company acquired by Sun in 2004.

Andy received an M.S. in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1976 and was a Ph.D. Student at Stanford University from 1977 until 1982. He was co-awarded the prestigious "EY 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year" across National USA.

Nancy El-Sakkary, Staff Network Engineer, Google, USA

NancyEl-Sakkary is a Staff Network Engineer at Google where she has worked since 2010. She is a member of the Optical Transport Engineering team which designs and implements optical products and software for Google's production network. She leads new platform introduction and network management automation. Nancy studied electrical engineering at Stanford University where she earned a B.S.EE.

Loukas Paraschis, Senior Director, Infinera, USA

Loukas Paraschis is senior director of cloud transport system engineering for Internet and content providers at Infinera. From 2007-2015, Loukas was cisco’s senior technology architect for wireline transport in global service provider, and from 2000-2006 technical leader in cisco optical networking and routing. He has (co)authored more than 100 peer‐reviewed publications, invited and tutorial presentations, book chapters, and 5 patents, has served in many IEEE and OSA leadership positions, including the OFC and JOCN steering committees, as JOCN associated editor, IEEE Photonics Society Distinguished Lecturer (2009), and is an OSA Fellow (2011). Loukas graduated from Stanford University (PhD 1999, MS 1998) where he worked at the Information Systems and Networking Research laboratories. He was born in Athens, Greece, where he completed his undergraduate studies.

Michael Strunz-Kroll, Head of Architecture and Engineering, euNetworks, Germany

Michael Strunz-Kroll is Head of Architecture and Engineering at euNetworks, responsible for the strategic technology and platform decisions, its introduction into operations and life-cycle management. He joined euNetworks in 2011.

Michael holds an engineering diploma in telecommunications and is working in the alternative network operator industry for now 20 years. He started his career in IBM and worked in scientific networks when working for the computing center of Berlin Free University. He had various senior technical and management roles when working in network operators like interoute, lambdanet and teragate. Michael had leading roles during past M&A activities of euNetworks making sure a fast frictionless integration maintained the lean operations approach of the company. Michael is directly involved in the design of high scalable solutions in the big content and hyperscale segment.

Chongjin Xie, Senior Director, Alibaba Group, USA

Chongjin Xie is a senior director in Alibaba Group, leading an optical network team working on datacenter optical interconnect. Prior to joining Alibaba in 2014, Dr. Xie was a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent, doing research on optical communications. He was a post-doctor at Chalmers University of Technology from 1999 to 2001, and received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Beijing University of Posts & Telecommunications in 1996 and 1999, respectively. Dr. Xie has published one book, 4 book chapters and over 200 papers. He is a Fellow of OSA and a senior member of IEEE.

Yawei Yin, Principal Network Developer Manager, Microsoft, USA

Yawei Yin is a principal network developer manager at the WAN Optical Networking team of Microsoft Azure. His focus includes the design, deploy, operation and automation of the metro, long-haul and subsea optical transport networks for Microsoft Azure. Prior to Microsoft, he worked at Alibaba Group as a staff engineer who was leading the design and automation of the optical transport network. Yawei Yin has also been active in optical networking research community for more than 10 years. He has (co)authored more than 80 peer‐reviewed publications, invited presentations, book chapters etc., and is a (co)inventor of 6 patents. He has served the academic community in many different positions, including the technical program committee of IEEE/OSA OFC, IEEE GLOBECOM and ICC conferences, the editor and reviewer of many different academic journals etc. Yawei Yin earned his Ph.D degree in Electrical Engineering with a focus on optical networking from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications.


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