Christian Belady migrates to Cloud Computing joins Microsoft Research eXtreme Computing Group

I’ve started discussing the Cloud Computing more as the cloud infrastructure does almost all the things a green data center does and has industry’s attention.  I can’t think of anyone who wants to go to the cloud to over provision hardware, create silos that don’t work together, and ignore their energy use.

Mike Manos announced his move to the Mobile Cloud.

I am extremely happy to announce that I have taken a role at Nokia as their VP of Service Operations.  In this role I will have global responsibility for the strategy, operation and run of infrastructure aspects for Nokia’s new cloud and mobile services platforms.

Christian Belady announced his move to Microsoft Research’s eXtreme Computing Group.

But even with all of this change, I see there is even more opportunity now then there was when I started at Microsoft almost three years ago. Cloud computing has made mining and developing the “right” opportunities even that much more important. We need to think about how we tie together the complete ecosystem of the software stack, the IT, the data center and the grid today and what efficiencies we can drive from our research and development for the future. For those of you that know me – this is the kind of opportunity that makes me salivate. There aren’t many people around tasked with this kind of challenge and this is the opportunity I have been given in the evolution of my career at Microsoft. This week I begin tackling these projects within the Microsoft Research group in team called the Extreme Computing Group.

How big is the Cloud for Microsoft Research?  The top 3 demos listed in their demo page from TechFest are Cloud Computing.

Client + Cloud Computing for Research

Scientific applications have diverse data and computation needs that scale from desktop to supercomputers. Besides the nature of the application and the domain, the resource needs for the applications also vary over time—as the collaboration and the data collections expand, or when seasonal campaigns are undertaken. Cloud computing offers a scalable, economic, on-demand model well-matched to evolving eScience needs. We will present a suite of science applications that leverage the capabilities of Microsoft's Azure cloud-computing platform. We will show tools and patterns we have developed to use the cloud effectively for solving problems in genomics, environmental science, and oceanography, covering both data and compute-intensive applications.

Cloud Faster

To make cloud computing work, we must make applications run substantially faster, both over the Internet and within data centers. Our measurements of real applications show that today's protocols fall short, leading to slow page-load times across the Internet and congestion collapses inside the data center. We have developed a new suite of architectures and protocols that boost performance and the robustness of communications to overcome these problems. The results are backed by real measurements and a new theory describing protocol dynamics that enables us to remedy fundamental problems in the Transmission Control Protocol. We will demo the experience users will have with Bing Web sites, both with and without our improvements. The difference is stunning. We also will show visualizations of intra-data-center communication problems and our changes that fix them. This work stems from collaborations with Bing and Windows Core Operating System Networking.

Energy-Aware VMs and Cloud Computing

Virtual machines (VMs) become key platform components for data centers and Microsoft products such as Win8, System Center, and Azure. But existing power-management schemes designed at the server level, such as power capping and CPU throttling, do not work with VMs. VMmeter can estimate per-VM power consumption from Hyper-V performance counters, with the assistance of WinServer2008 R2 machine-level power metering, thus enabling power management at VM granularity. For example, we can selectively throttle VMs with the least performance hit for power capping. This demo compares VMmeter-based with hardware-based power-management solutions. We run multiple VMs, one of them being a high-priority video playback on a server. When a user requests power capping with our solution, the video playback will maintain high performance, while with hardware-capping solutions, we see reduced performance. We also will show how VMmeter can be part of System Center management packs.

Microsoft Research is lucky to find someone who is influential in the industry and has spent 3 years being in its own data center operations. There are few who could make the jump from data center operations to Microsoft Research, and I am sure Christian will constantly be working on knowledge transfers across the teams.

For the rest of the industry, I’ve go a feeling we are going to see even more of Christian’s ideas out there now that he is in Microsoft Research.

This is exciting in itself, but what really gets me “charged” is the opportunity I have now to work between my former group Global Foundation Services (that drives the current Microsoft cloud infrastructure) and my new group Microsoft Research (MSR). Taking the best practices from what we have learned with our current and future Gen 4 data centers and combining them with the resources of one of the best research organizations in the world (MSR), I am convinced that many new and exciting things will come. And best of all, I am lucky to be right smack in the middle of it and will still be working closely with the teams driving the hardware architecture for the cloud today and in the future. So actually, I am really not leaving GFS but rather extending the reach of GFS into the future. Who can ask for a better opportunity….man I love this company!