SCS Colloquium: Yousef Khalidi

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TITLE:  Lessons from Designing, Building, and Operating a Hyper-scale Global Wide Area Network


Cloud computing has ushered in a new class of hyper-scale systems, characterized by large-scale distributed systems, global connectivity, and ubiquitous computing models that span the spectrum from centralized data centers to the edge. Powering these hyper-scales are global networks that connect end-users through various other networks and devices to the cloud. In this talk, we describe our journey in building the network of one of the biggest cloud systems, Microsoft Azure. This network is built out of 130K+ miles of terrestrial and subsea cables,  processes an average of 30 billion packets/second, and interconnects with more than 20K peering points around the globe. We describe many of the technological and engineering building blocks that enable us to build and reliably operate this network, including innovations in fiber optics, software-defined networking, network design, switch software and global-scale monitoring, and simulation software.


Yousef Khalidi is responsible for product and program management for Azure Networking, which covers Microsoft’s global investments in cloud networking software and hardware. He drives strategic business planning, including world-wide partner coverage and deep integration with Microsoft services. Khalidi was a member of the team that conceived and built the initial version of Microsoft Azure (code named Red Dog) and has served in several engineering, product management, and architectural roles in Azure. Prior to joining Microsoft, Khalidi spent 14 years at Sun Microsystems, where he was a distinguished engineer. At Sun, he held several R&D, architecture, and management positions in enterprise software, including CTO and chief architect of Solaris, chief architect of Sun’s N1 utility computing platform, chief architect and director of the Sun Cluster product line, and as a principal architect of the Solaris MC and the Spring advanced development projects. Khalidi also served as a member of Sun’s Technical Advisory Council. Khalidi earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science from West Virginia University, where he graduated summa cum laude. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in information and computer science from Georgia Tech, with a minor in performance evaluation and statistics. Khalidi is a member of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board, as well as QCRI’s Scientific Advisory Committee. He holds over 50 patents in distributed systems, networking, and computer hardware.


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