Ant Rowstron

Principal Researcher,

Microsoft Research Cambridge

Email: antr@microsoft.com

 

 

Active Research Projects:

·       Rack-Scale Computing

·       Pelican

·       Predictable Data Centers (inc. IOFlow and Software Defined Storage)

Recent publications:

·       Shobana Balakrishnan, Richard Black, Austin Donnelly, Paul England, Adam Glass, Dave Harper, Sergey Legtchenko, A, Ogus, E. Peterson and A. Rowstron “Pelican: A building block for exascale cold data storage” in OSDI, October 2014 [ pdf ]

·       Fahad R Dogar, Thomas Karagiannis, Hitesh Ballani, and Antony Rowstron, “Decentralized Task-aware Scheduling for Data Center Networks”, in SIGCOMM, ACM, August 2014 [ pdf ]

·       Eno Thereska, Hitesh Ballani, Greg O'Shea, Thomas Karagiannis, Antony Rowstron, Tom Talpey, and Timothy Zhu “IOFlow: A Software-Defined Storage Architecture” SOSP'13, Farmington, PA, USA, November, 2013. [pdf ]

Full publication list is available here (and probably more up to date on Google Scholar!)

Overview:

I work on systems that lie at the intersection of Networking, Systems, Storage and Distributed Systems, and I also lead the Systems and Networking group at Microsoft Research in Cambridge. My recent work has been heavily focused on increasing performance, reducing the cost of and increasing the agility of data centers.

I have worked in several areas, including structured overlays or Distributed Hash Tables (DHTs), wireless routing protocols and even Robot Football (RoboCup’98).  The paper on Pastry written with Peter Druschel was awarded the "Middleware'2011 10-year best paper award".

Several things I worked on have passed over from research to the wider world in one way or another - for example the work on Pastry directly contributed to both the Windows DRT API and the related Windows PNRP API (the former even includes a leaf set).  LiveStation licensed some of our P2P work around Pastry and SplitStream. More recently, some of the work described in our IOFlow paper (SOSP’13) resulted in the SMB Bandwidth Limiting feature in Windows Server 2012 R2.

Current research:

 

Most of my current research effort is focused on creating the technologies that will underpin future cloud- based computing platforms. The work is split into systems and tools that demonstrate how emerging and new hardware can be adopted and software infrastructure to support better resource management in our data centers.

 

The interest in hardware stems for work on the CamCube  project that explored how distributed networks that directly connect servers to each other performed with data center workloads. This removed the need for a dedicated ToR switch, and distributed its functionality across the servers, The AMD SeaMicro fabric compute systems and other such systems, are now commercially available and provide this size of cluster as we envisaged. The general availability of these systems, and the rise of disaggregated computing, and more emerging hardware that supports this kind of direct connect paradigm, I am continuing to look at some of the related issues. In particular, CamCube and these commercial systems also demonstrate the value of thinking at the rack-scale – creating Rack-Scale Computing project.

 

One of the first products of the Rack-Scale Computing project, is a system called Pelican, which is designed to provide storage for cold data, e.g. data that is written once and read rarely. Pelican uses right-provisioning, and has a converged design: the power, cooling, hardware and software are all co-designed. We have demonstrated how to build a cold storage system that much lower capital and operating expenses for storing cold data.

 

Managing resources in a data center is important and the Predictable Data Center Project explores how to build the software infrastructure to help manage resources such as the network and storage. The work started in the context of networking (Towards Predictable Datacenter Networks SIGCOMM’11) but, then expanded to think about storage. In the process we’ve had to open the storage stack, to allow us to create an explicit data and control plane, the equivalent for storage of Software Defined Networking, a sort of Software Defined Storage (IOFlow, SOSP’13).

 

Past projects with web sites:

·       CamCube

·       Pastry (Distributed Hash Table) and related overlay work: The original Pastry web site (Pastry, Squirrel, PAST, Scribe and SplitStream). For later projects please see this page.  

Some of the key publications from Pastry and the related applications:

§  Rowstron and P. Druschel, "Pastry: Scalable, distributed object location and routing for large-scale peer-to-peer systems", Middleware'2001, Germany, November 2001. [ pdf.zip | ps.zip | pdf | ps ]

§  M. Castro, P. Druschel, A-M. Kermarrec, A. Nandi, A. Rowstron and A. Singh, "SplitStream: High-bandwidth multicast in cooperative environments", SOSP'03, Lake Bolton, New York, October, 2003.   [ pdf.zip | ps.zippdf | ps ]

§  Rowstron and P. Druschel, "Storage management and caching in PAST, a large-scale, persistent peer-to-peer storage utility", 18th SOSP'01, Banff, Canada, October 2001.  [ pdf.zip | ps.zip | pdf | ps ]

§  M. Castro, P. Druschel, A. Ganesh, A. Rowstron, and D. S. Wallach, "Secure routing for structured peer-to-peer overlay networks".  In Proceedings of the Fifth Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI'02), Boston, MA, December 2002. [ pdf.zip | ps.zip | pdf | ps ]

§  M. Castro, M. Costa, and A. Rowstron, "Debunking some myths about structured and unstructured overlays", NSDI'05, Boston, MA, USA, May 2005. [ ps | pdf ]

§  M. Castro, P. Druschel, A-M. Kermarrec, A. Nandi, A. Rowstron and A. Singh, "SplitStream: High-bandwidth multicast in cooperative environments", SOSP, 2003.   [ pdf  ]

·       Virtual Ring Routing

Selected publications from my time at Microsoft Research:

 

·       Shobana Balakrishnan, Richard Black, Austin Donnelly, Paul England, Adam Glass, Dave Harper, Sergey Legtchenko, A, Ogus, E. Peterson and A. Rowstron “Pelican: A building block for exascale cold data storage” in OSDI, October 2014 [ pdf ]

·       Fahad R Dogar, Thomas Karagiannis, Hitesh Ballani, and Antony Rowstron, “Decentralized Task-aware Scheduling for Data Center Networks”, in SIGCOMM, ACM, August 2014 [ pdf ]

·       Eno Thereska, Hitesh Ballani, Greg O'Shea, Thomas Karagiannis, Antony Rowstron, Tom Talpey, and Timothy Zhu “IOFlow: A Software-Defined Storage Architecture” SOSP'13, Farmington, PA, USA, November, 2013. [ pdf ]

·       Christos Gkantsidis, Dimitris Vytiniotis, Orion Hodson, Dushyanth Narayanan, Florin Dinu, Antony Rowstron "Rhea: Automatic Filtering for Unstructured Cloud Storage", NSDI , April 2013 [ pdf  ]

·       Virajith Jalaparti, Hitesh Ballani, Paolo Costa. Thomas Karagiannis and Antony Rowstron "Bridging the Tenant-Provider Gap in Cloud Services". Proceedings SOCC, Oct, 2012 [ pdf  ]

·       Paolo Costa, Austin Donnelly, Ant Rowstron, Greg O'Shea. "Camdoop: Exploiting In-network Aggregation for Big Data Applications", NSDI, 2012 [ pdf  ]

·       C. Wilson, H. Ballani, T. Karagiannis and A. Rowstron. "Better Never than Late: Meeting Deadlines in Datacenter Networks",Sigcomm,2011. [ pdf ]

·       H. Ballani, P. Costa, T. Karagiannis and A. Rowstron. "Towards Predictable Datacenter Networks", Sigcomm, 2011. [ pdf ]

·       H. Abu-Libdeh, P. Costa, A. Rowstron, G. O'Shea and A. Donnelly. "Symbiotic routing in future data centers", Sigcomm, 2010. [ pdf ]

·       D. Narayanan, A. Donnelly, E. Thereska, S. Elnikety and A. Rowstron. "Migrating server storage to SSDs: analysis of tradeoffs", EuroSys 2009. [ pdf ]

·       D. Narayanan, A. Donnelly, E. Thereska, S. Elnikety and A. Rowstron. "Everest: Scaling down peak loads through I/O off-loading", OSDI, 2008. [ pdf]

·       T. Karagiannis, R. Mortier and A. Rowstron. "Network exception handlers: host-network control in enterprise networks", Sigcomm, 2008 [ pdf]

·       D. Narayanan, A. Donnelly and A. Rowstron. "Write Off-loading: Practical power management for enterprise storage", FAST, 2008 [ pdf ] (invited to submit to ACM TOS)

·       D. Narayanan, A. Donnelly, R. Mortier and A. Rowstron. "Delay Aware Querying with Seaweed", VLDB, 2006 [ ps | pdf ] (forwarded to the VLDB Journal best of 2006)

·       M. Caesar, M. Castro, E. Nightingale, G. O'Shea and A. Rowstron, "Virtual Ring Routing: Network routing inspired by DHTs", Sigcomm, 2006.  [ ps | pdf ]

·       M. Costa, J. Crowcroft, M. Castro, A. Rowstron, L. Zhou, L. Zhang, and P. Barham, "Vigilante: End-to-End Containment of Internet Worms", SOSP, 2005.[ ps | pdf ]

·       M. Castro, M. Costa, and A. Rowstron, "Debunking some myths about structured and unstructured overlays", NSDI, 2005. [ pdf ]

·       L. Zhuang, F. Zhou, B. Y. Zhao and A. Rowstron, "Cashmere: Resilient Anonymous Routing", NSDI, 2005. [ pdf ]

·       M. Castro, P. Druschel, A-M. Kermarrec, A. Nandi, A. Rowstron and A. Singh, "SplitStream: High-bandwidth multicast in cooperative environments", SOSP, 2003.   [ pdf  ]

·       M. Castro, P. Druschel, A-M. Kermarrec  and A. Rowstron, "SCRIBE: A large-scale and decentralized application-level multicast infrastructure", IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communication (JSAC), October 2002.  [ pdf ]

·       M. Castro, P. Druschel, A. Ganesh, A. Rowstron, and D. S. Wallach, "Secure routing for structured peer-to-peer overlay networks", OSDI,  December 2002. [ pdf ]

·       S. Iyer, A. Rowstron and P. Druschel, "SQUIRREL: A decentralized, peer-to-peer web cache", PODC,  July 2002. [ pdf ]

·       A. Rowstron and P. Druschel, "Pastry: Scalable, decentralized object location and routing for large-scale peer-to-peer systems", Middleware, 2001. [ pdf ]

o   (10 year best paper award from Middleware awarded in 2011)

·       A. Rowstron and P. Druschel, "Storage management and caching in PAST, a large-scale, persistent peer-to-peer storage utility", SOSP, October 2001.  [ pdf  ]

·       A-M Kermarrec, A. Rowstron, M. Shapiro and P. Druschel. "The IceCube approach to the reconciliation of divergent replicas", PODC, 2001. [ pdf ]

Short Bio:

For the last 15 or so years I have been working as a researcher at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK where I am now a Principal Researcher and lead the Systems and Networking Group. My research interests are broad, covering the spectrum of systems, distributed systems, storage and networking. In May of 2010 I was elected as a Fellow of the British Computer Society. I received an MEng degree in Computer Systems and Software Engineering in 1993 from the University of York, UK, and a DPhil degree in Computer Science in 1996 also from the University of York, UK.

In 1996 I moved to the Computer Laboratory at Cambridge University, UK as a Research Associate and then moved to the Laboratory for Communications Engineering in the Engineering Department, Cambridge University, as a Senior Research Associate. During my time at Cambridge University I was a consultant for the Olivetti and Oracle Research Laboratory (ORL) (which became the AT&T Research Cambridge in 1998 and has now sadly closed).  In 1999 I moved to Microsoft Research Ltd in Cambridge, UK.

Professional activities:

I have been involved or am on the Program Committee or related for the following workshops and conferences:

EUROSYS 2014 (co-chair), SIGCOMM 2012, SOCC 2012, SOSP 2011, Middleware 2011, MobiHeld 2011, Sigcomm 2010, NSDI 2010, Middleware 2010, MobiHeld 2010, IPTPS 2010, Middleware 2009, PerCom 2009, Workshop co-chair Sigcomm 2009, Middleware 2008, FAST 2008, Middleware 2007, INFOCOM 2007, ACM SIGCOMM 2006, EUROSYS 2006, IPTPS 2006, MobiShare 2006 (co-chair), DSN 2006, INFOCOM 2006, WORLDS 2005, P2P Economics workshop 2005, Euro-par 2005 (Track vice-chair), ICDCS 2005 (Track chair), IEEE INFOCOM 2005, SIGOPS EW 2004, ACM SIGCOMM 2004, WDDDM 2004, Coordination 2004,  ACM SIGCOMM 2003, ACM PODC 2003, IEEE OpenArch 2003,  WWW  2003, SecCo 2003, IPTPS'02 (co-chair),  International Workshop on Peer-to-Peer Computing 2002, WETICE'02, ESAW'01, WETICE'01, ESAW'00

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