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Cheng Huang

Principle Researcher
Microsoft Research
One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052
Phone: (425) 722-0529 
Fax: (425) 936-7329

Cheng Huang is a research scientist and tech lead at Microsoft. Lately, he has been leading the design, architecture and implementation of the Azure Storage vNext system ( to scale the capacity of Azure Storage by more than 100x ). Along the way, he has been introducing formal methods ( such as TLA+ and IronFleet ) and model checking ( such as P# ) to the Azure teams.

Dr. Huang has also been working on erasure coding technologies for storage applications. While the industry has been relying on conventional schemes, invented more than 50 years ago and primed in deep space communication, Dr. Huang and his MSR colleagues have partnered with the Windows Azure Storage team and designed novel schemes that are optimized specifically for cloud storage. Please check out the LRC paper, which received a Best Paper Award at USENIX ATC 2012. LRC significantly reduces storage cost over conventional schemes, while still maintaining required durability and I/O performance. Given the scale and growth of Azure, the savings from LRC translate into 100s of millions of dollars for Microsoft. This work has been covered by the Microsoft Research featured story and the cover story on Microsoft (internal) portal.

In the past, Dr. Huang and his MSR colleagues have partnered with the MSN team, designed and developed Microsoft’s peer-assisted Video-on-Demand system, which significantly reduces the cost of video delivery while dramatically boosting video quality at the same time. Please check out the profitable VoD paper at ACM SIGCOMM 2007. This work has been reviewed by Bill Gates in person. Here (internal only) are some of Bill’s comments. This work has also been featured by New Scientist.

Dr. Huang has partnered with Azure and built a Global Traffic Management system. Please check out the Apollo paper at USENIX ATC 2010. Dr. Huang has partnered with the Xbox team, designed and built the core decision engine in Pangolin — the low delay network transport protocol used in Xbox social gaming. Please check out the Pangolin paper in ACM CoNEXT 2011. Dr. Huang has also partnered with the Bing team and investigated Internet Search hijacking. Please check out the Revealer paper at USENIX LEET 2011 and the stories featured by the Register and Ars Technica.

Dr. Huang received the B.S. and M.S. degrees from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, both in Electronic Engineering, and the Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis.


P. Deligiannis, M. McCutchen, P. Thomson, S. Chen, A. F. Donaldson, J. Erickson, C. Huang, A. Lal, R. Mudduluru, S. Qadeer, and W. Schulte, Uncovering Bugs in Distributed Storage Systems during Testing (Not in Production!), USENIX FAST, Santa Clara, CA, Feb. 2016.

C. Huang, H. Simitci, Y. Xu, A. Ogus, B. Calder, P. Gopalan, J. Li, and S. Yekhanin, Erasure Coding in Windows Azure Storage, USENIX ATC, Boston, MA, Jun. 2012. ( Best Paper Award )

C. Huang, I. Batanov, and J. Li, A Practical Solution to the Client-LDNS Mismatch Problem, Sigcomm CCR, Apr. 2012.

D. S. Papailiopoulos, J. Luo, A. G. Dimakis, C. Huang, and J. Li, Simple Regenerating Codes: Network Coding for Cloud Storage, IEEE INFOCOM Mini-Conference, Orlando, FL, Apr. 2012.

O. Khan, R. Burns, J. Plank, W. Pierce, and C. Huang, Rethinking Erasure Codes for Cloud File Systems: Minimizing I/O for Recovery and Degraded Reads, USENIX FAST, San Jose, CA, Feb. 2012.

C. Zhang, C. Huang, P. A. Chou, J. Li, S. Mehrotra, K. W. Ross, H. Chen, F. Livni, and J. Thaler, Pangolin: Speeding up Concurrent Messaging for Cloud-Based Social Gaming, ACM CoNEXT, Tokyo, Japan, Dec. 2011. (PPT)

P. Gopalan, C. Huang, H. Simitci, and S. Yekhanin, On the Locality of Codeword Symbols, Allerton Conference, IL, Sep. 2011.

V. R. Cadambe, C. Huang, J. Li, and S. Mehrotra, Polynomial Length MDS Codes With Optimal Repair in Distributed Storage, Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems, and Computers, Pacific Grove, CA, Nov. 2011.

V. R. Cadambe, C. Huang, and J. Li, Permutation Code: Optimal Exact-Repair of a Single Failed Node in MDS Code Based Distributed Storage Systems, IEEE ISIT, Saint Petersburg, Russia, Aug. 2011.

O. Khan, R. Burns, J. Plank, C. Huang, In Search of I/O-Optimal Recovery from Disk Failures, USENIX HotStorage, Portland, Jun. 2011.

C. Huang, D. A. Maltz, A. Greenberg, and J. Li, Public DNS System and Global Traffic Management, IEEE INFOCOM, Shanghai, China, Apr. 2011. (PPT)

Y. A. Wang, C. Huang, J. Li, and K. W. Ross, Estimating the Performance of Hypothetical Cloud Service Deployments: A Measurement-Based Approach, IEEE INFOCOM, Shanghai, China, Apr. 2011.

Y. Wang, D. Burgener, M. Flores, A. Kuzmanovic, and C. Huang, Towards Street-Level Client-Independent IP Geolocation, USENIX NSDI, Boston, MA, Apr. 2011.

C. Zhang, C. Huang, K. W. Ross, D. A. Maltz, and J. Li, Inflight Modifications of Content: Who Are the Culprits?, USENIX LEET, Boston, Apr. 2011.

Y. Wang, C. Huang, J. Li, P. A. Chou, and Y. R. Yang, Quality of Service as a Service, USENIX Hot-ICE, Boston, Apr. 2011.

C. Huang, N. Holt, Y. A. Wang, A. Greenberg, J. Li, and K. W. Ross, A DNS Reflection Method for Global Traffic Management, Proc. USENIX Annual Technical Conference (ATC'10), Boston, MA, Jun. 2010.

J. Luo, C. Huang, and L. Xu, Decoding STAR Code for Tolerating Simultaneous Disk Failure and Silent Errors, Proc. 40th Annual IEEE/IFIP International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN 2010), Chicago, IL, Jun. 2010.

A. Mondal, R. Cutler, C. Huang, J. Li, and A. Kuzmanovic, SureCall: Towards Glitch-Free Real-Time Audio/Video Conferencing, Proc. IEEE International Workshop on Quality of Service (IWQoS 2010), Beijing, China, Jun. 2010.

A. Mondal, C. Huang, J. Li, M. Jain, and A. Kuzmanovic, A Case for WiFi Relay: Improving VoIP Quality for WiFi Users, Proc. IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC 2010), Cape Town, South Africa, May. 2010.

A. Pathak, Y. A. Wang, C. Huang, A. Greenberg, Y. C. Hu, R. Kern, J. Li, and K. W. Ross, Measuring and Evaluating TCP Splitting for Cloud Services, Proc. Passive and Active Measurement Conference (PAM 2010), Zurich, Switzerland, Apr. 2010.

Y. A. Wang, C. Huang, J. Li, and K. W. Ross, Queen: Estimating Packet Loss Rate between Arbitrary Internet Hosts, Proc. Passive and Active Measurement Conference (PAM 2009), Seoul, South Korea, Apr. 2009.

C. Huang, Y. A. Wang, J. Li, and K. W. Ross, Measuring and Evaluating Large-Scale CDNs, Microsoft Research Technical Report MSR-TR-2008-106 (full paper withdrawn from ACM Internet Measurement Conference, IMC'08), Oct. 2008.

     - For obvious reasons, I am not making the paper available here, but you can easily find a copy online.

J. Wang, C. Huang, and J. Li, On ISP-Friendly Rate Allocation for Peer-Assisted VoD, Proc. ACM Multimedia (MM'08), Vancouver, BC, Canada, Oct. 2008.

C. Huang, A. Wang, J. Li, and K. W. Ross, Understanding Hybrid CDN-P2P: Why Limelight Needs its Own Red Swoosh, Proc. 18th International Workshop on Network and Operating Systems Support for Digital Audio and Video (NOSSDAV'08), Braunschweig, Germany, May. 2008.

C. Huang, and L. Xu, STAR: An Efficient Coding Scheme for Correcting Triple Storage Node Failures, IEEE Trans. on Computers, 57(7), Jul. 2008. (revised version of the FAST'05 paper)

L. Xu, and C. Huang, Computation Efficient Multicast Key Distribution, IEEE Trans. on Parallel and Distributed Systems, 19(5), May. 2008.

C. Huang, J. Li, and M. Chen, On Optimizing XOR-Based Codes for Fault-Tolerant Storage Applications, Proc. IEEE Information Theory Workshop (ITW 2007), Lake Tahoe, CA, Sep. 2007.

C. Huang, J. Li, and K. W. Ross, Can Internet Video-on-Demand be Profitable? Proc. ACM SIGCOMM, Kyoto, Japan, Aug. 2007. (more for intranet visitors)

C. Huang, M. Chen, and J. Li, Pyramid Codes: Flexible Schemes to Trade Space for Access Efficiency in Reliable Data Storage Systems, Proc. IEEE International Symposium on Network Computing and Applications (NCA 2007), Cambridge, MA, Jul. 2007. (PPT)

M. Chen, C. Huang, and J. Li, On the Maximally Recoverable Property for Multi-Protection Group Codes, Proc. IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory (ISIT 2007), Nice, France, Jun. 2007.

C. Huang, J. Li, and K. W. Ross, Peer-Assisted VoD: Making Internet Video Distribution Cheap, Proc. International Workshop on Peer-to-Peer Systems (IPTPS 2007), Bellevue, WA, Feb. 2007.

C. Huang, and L. Xu, STAR: An Efficient Coding Scheme for Correcting Triple Storage Node Failures, Proc. USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST 2005), San Francisco, CA, Dec. 2005.

C. Huang, and L. Xu, Optimal Broadcast Scheduling for Random-Loss Channels, Proc. IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory (ISIT 2005), Adelaide, Australia, Sep. 2005.

C. Huang, P. A. Chou, and A. E. Klemets, Optimal Coding Rate Control of Scalable and Multi Bit Rate Streaming Media, Microsoft Research Technical Report MSR-TR-2005-47, April 2005. (also appeared in Proc. International Packet Video Workshop (PV 2004), Irvine, CA, Dec. 2004 and in Proc. Picture Coding Symposium (PCS 2004), San Francisco, CA, Dec. 2004.)

C. Huang, R. Janakiraman, and L. Xu, Loss-Resilient On-Demand Media Streaming Using Priority Encoding, Proc. ACM Multimedia (MM 2004), New York, NY, Oct. 2004.

professional services

technical program committee (TPC)

  • USENIX FAST 2015
  • USENIX FAST 2013
  • ICDCS 2013
  • IEEE NetCod 2013
  • IEEE ICC 2013
  • ACM NOSSDAV 2013
  • IEEE CCNC 2013
  • ACM Multimedia 2012
  • ACM NOSSDAV 2012
  • Packet Video 2012
  • IEEE ICC 2012
  • IEEE ICC 2011
  • IEEE CCNC 2011
  • Packet Video 2010
  • IEEE CCNC 2010
  • Packet Video 2009
  • IPTPS 2009
  • ACM CoNext 2008

  • Last Modified: August 2015.
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