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“A Wireless Road Around Data Traffic Jams”

UW CSE Ph.D. student Dan Halperin is quoted in a New York Times article on work at Microsoft Research, led by Victor Bahl and involving Dan and UW CSE professor David Wetherall, “experimenting with wireless links, mounted atop server racks, to supply extra bandwidth for moving data along at crunch times.”

“The Microsoft team forged ahead with the project, building and testing a system with tiny directional antennas at the top of each rack to send and receive data. A central controller monitors traffic patterns, finds network bottlenecks, configures the antennas and turns on the wireless links when more bandwidth is required, says Daniel Halperin, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Washington, who worked on the project as an intern at Microsoft. Signals go out on a horizontal plane and are steered right or left. The design sped up traffic by at least 45 percent in 95 percent of the cases tested, Mr. Halperin says.”

Read the New York Times article here.  Read the joint UW/MSR research paper, “Augmenting Data Center Networks with Multi-Gigabit Wireless Links,” here.  See the slides from Dan’s SIGCOMM 2011 presentation on the work here.