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Collaboration With IBM to Speed Up 'the Cloud'

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Cornell University Assistant Professor Hakim Weatherspoon

Cornell University Assistant Professor Hakim Weatherspoon is operating a testbed called the Cornell NLR Rings to better understand network packet losses.

Credit: Cornell University

Cornell University professor Hakim Weatherspoon and IBM researchers are studying the causes of data distortions and are developing ways for cloud computing applications to deal with them.

The research involves a testbed called the Cornell NLR Rings, which sends data on loops of up to 16,000 miles around the National LambdaRail high-speed fiber-optic research network. Weatherspoon and Cornell physics post-doctoral researcher Daniel Freedman developed an apparatus that uses a very precisely modulated laser to generate packets of optical signals and to analyze what comes back with sub-picosecond accuracy. Early testing found that transmission problems show up on the uncongested LambdaRail network, meaning they also may appear on private networks used by businesses and institutions.

"I have discovered that contrary to the widely held supposition that such networks are largely stable, lossless, and jitter free, these networks can be rather unstable, prone to loss, and sources of significant jitter," Weatherspoon says.

From Cornell Chronicle
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