To keep pace with the tremendous bandwidth growth in cloud networking, large scale providers, such as Microsoft, employ optical technologies ubiquitously. In fact, Microsoft’s Wide-area network carries hundreds of Tbps of data using optical links, and in its data center networks, all switch-to-switch links are optical. Despite their almost-ubiquitous presence, little is known today about even basic characteristics (e.g., signal power, attenuation) of optical links in such networks. We conduct one of the first large-scale study of the optical layer of WAN and data center networks. Our analysis uncovers several findings that enable innovations at the physical layer to improve network planning, increase capacity, and reduce cost.
Monia Ghobadi is a researcher at Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA. Her research interests include all aspects of networked systems, with recent focus on optical networking. Her past work spans data center congestion control, RDMA, software-defined networks, and network measurement. She received her PhD from University of Toronto and worked at Google’s data center team before joining Microsoft Research.