Ant Rowstron

Principal Researcher,

Microsoft Research Cambridge

Email: antr@microsoft.com

 

 

 

Recent publications:

 

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

·         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 ]

·         Raja Appuswamy, Christos Gkantsidis, Dushyanth Narayanan, Orion Hodson, Antony Rowstron “Scale-up vs Scale-out for Hadoop: Time to rethink?” Proceedings of SOCC, Oct, 2013 [ pdf ]

·         Paolo Costa, Austin Donnelly, Ant Rowstron, Greg O'Shea "CamCubeOS: A key-based Network Stack for 3D Torus Cluster Topologies" Proceedings HPDC, June, 2013 [ pdf ]

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

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

 

Overview:

I primarily work on Networked Systems, or systems that lie at the intersection of Networking, Systems, Storage and Distributed Systems. I lead the Systems and Networking group at Microsoft Research in Cambridge. Currently most of the things that I work are focused on the data center, and are trying to make data centers better (cheaper to build and run, or to provide better resource management within the data center). In the past I have worked on many things, including structured overlays or Distributed Hash Tables (DHTs), wireless routing protocols and even Robot Football (RoboCup’98). I was also deeply honored recently that the original Pastry paper written with Peter Druschel was awarded the "Middleware'2011 10-year best paper award".

I have been fortunate that odd 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). Further, 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:

 

I’m currently heavily focused on thinking about technologies that will underpin future cloud- based computing platforms. Both emerging and new hardware as well as building better software infrastructure to support cloud-based services.

 

In our early CamCube work we explored how distributed network fabrics that directly connect servers to each other. This allowed us to explore the benefits and drawbacks of using distributed fabrics, and we concluded that they could work at the scale of 10 to 1000 servers. Recently we have seen systems like the AMD SeaMicro fabric compute systems and the Calxeda-based servers being to deploy distributed network fabrics at the rack scale, attempting to provide networking connectivity to this size of cluster. With the general availability of these systems and the rise of disaggregated computing, we are continuing to look at some of the related issues. The CamCube work also demonstrated the value of thinking at the rack-scale – and we’ve been thinking about some of these in the Rack-Scale Computing project.

 

Linked to the thinking at rack-scale we’ve been exploring what it would mean to build storage systems at a rack-scale for use in cloud data centers in the Pelican project. The key underlying philosophy is one of converged design of power, cooling, hardware and software in an attempt to build storage that has much lower capital and operating expenses for storing cooler data (data which is read infrequently). This combines understanding from our experiences with CamCube with some of the lessons we learnt when building Everest (OSDI’08) and write off-loading (FAST’08).

 

The final area is around Predictable Data Centers, and understanding Service Level Agreements, Service Level Objectives and how we can build software infrastructure to support them better. This work started off very much in the context of networking (Towards Predictable Datacenter Networks SIGCOMM’11) but, after some great feedback from the Windows Server team, we also expanded the work to think about storage.  In the process we’ve had to open the storage stack up to provide the storage equivalent of Software Defined Networking, so a sort of Software Defined Storage (IOFlow, SOSP’13).

 

More details of the projects, can be found here:

·        Rack-Scale Computing

·        Pelican

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

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:

 

·         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 Biography:

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 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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