Portrait of Daniel Firestone

Daniel Firestone

Tech Lead and Group Manager - Azure Host Networking Team


I am hiring exceptional software and hardware/FPGA engineers to build the next generation of host-based SDN! Send me a note if interested.

I lead the Azure Host Networking Team, as part of Microsoft’s Azure Cloud Networking Group. We are an integrated global software and hardware team of 50+ systems engineers building Azure’s host networking stack, focusing on high performance virtualized infrastructure for datacenter networking, including network virtualization, load balancing, RDMA, converged infrastructure, and hybrid connectivity scenarios.

We develop the Azure Virtual Filtering Platform, Microsoft’s virtual switch for the cloud, and SmartNIC, our FPGA-based host networking hardware platform connecting our millions of servers. VFP is the SDN stack on every server in our cloud, and SmartNIC provides Azure Accelerated Networking to our customers and RDMA to our infrastructure. We focus on software and hardware acceleration for SDN and virtualized storage, and we work with NIC, switch, and FPGA partners to enable these scenarios on the physical network as well.

For a descipriton of VFP and SmartNIC:
Azure CTO Mark Russinovich’s ONS’15 keynote at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RffHFIhg5Sc
Albert Greenberg’s keynote at ONS’14 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Kyoj3bKepY
Blog: https://aka.ms/ons-hyperscale-sdn-blog
Press: https://arstechnica.com/?post_type=post&p=964715
Major academic papers and presentations: https://www.usenix.org/node/211250 (SmartNIC) and https://www.usenix.org/conference/nsdi17/technical-sessions/presentation/firestone (VFP)

Specialties: Software development and engineering, datacenter networking and SDN, network virtualization, fpga-based network acceleration, kernel and driver development, high performance networking and storage, RDMA and NIC offloads, datacenter switches, TCP/IP, hypervisors, distributed systems, compiler design and optimization, computer and network security, engineering management and execution.

I studied at MIT, taking graduate-level courses in Operating Systems, Distributed Systems, Security, Cryptography, Computer Architecture, Compiler Optimization, and Computability and Complexity Theory.