Portrait of Hitesh Ballani

Hitesh Ballani

Senior Researcher


I am a researcher in the Systems and Networking group at Microsoft Research in Cambridge. Earlier, I graduated from Cornell University where I indulged in follies like Scalable Internet Routing and Network Management. Most of my current research centers around systems and networking issues in data centers.


Software-Defined Storage (SDS) Architectures

In data centers, the IO path to storage is long and complex. It comprises many layers or “stages” with opaque interfaces between them. This makes it hard to enforce end-to-end policies that dictate a storage IO flow’s performance (e.g., guarantee a tenant’s IO bandwidth) and routing (e.g., route an untrusted VM’s traffic through a sanitization middlebox). We are researching architectures that decouple control from data flow to enable such policies.

Rack-scale Computing

Established: January 1, 2013

  New hardware technology such as systems- and networks-on-chip (SOCs and NOCs), switchless network fabrics, silicon photonics, and RDMA, are redefining the landscape of data center computing, enabling interconnecting thousands of cores at high speed at the scale of today's racks. We refer to this new class of hardware as rack-scale computers (RSCs) because the rack is increasingly replacing the individual server as the basic building block of modern data centers. Early examples of RSCs…

Predictable Data Centers (PDC)

Established: September 1, 2010

Performance predictability is a key requirement for high-performant applications in today's multi-tenant datacenters. Online services running in infrastructure datacenters need such predictability to satisfy applications SLAs. Cloud datacenters require guaranteed performance to bound customer costs and spur adoption. However, the network and storage stack used in today’s datacenters is unaware of such application requirements. This projects examines how to enable preditable datacenters. Performance predictability is a key requirement for high-performant applications in today's multi-tenant data…

Project CamCube

Established: January 1, 2009

Why do we build data center clusters the way we build them? We started this project in 2008 wondering if there was a better hardware platform with a co-designed software stack that would make it easier/more preformat to write the sort of applications that run in data centers. We wanted to try and address the many issues, which we largely saw as being a function of the hard separation between the network and the processing…

Virtual Ring Routing

Established: August 27, 2007

A new unique routing protocol Version 1.1 now available here. Virtual Ring Routing (VRR) is a new network routing protocol that occupies a unique point in the design space. VRR is a clean-slate design inspired by overlay routing algorithms in Distributed Hash Tables (DHTs). Unlike DHTs, VRR is implemented directly on top of the link layer and does not rely on an underlying network routing protocol. VRR provides both traditional point-to-point network routing and DHT…


Established: February 15, 2001

A substrate for peer-to-peer applications Pastry is a generic, scalable and efficient substrate for peer-to-peer applications. Pastry nodes form a decentralized, self-organizing and fault-tolerant overlay network within the Internet. Pastry provides efficient request routing, deterministic object location, and load balancing in an application-independent manner. Furthermore, Pastry provides mechanisms that support and facilitate application-specific object replication, caching, and fault recovery. Short overview of Pastry (please don't cite) Pastry provides the following capabilities. First, each node in…

















Microsoft Research Storage Toolkit

November 2014

The Microsoft Research Storage Toolkit enables effective and accessible research in Software Defined Storage by adding I/O classification functions to the Windows 8.1 storage stack and exposing selected flows of I/O requests to a user-supplied program written in C# which can easily inspect or modify them. Parts of the Toolkit have supported our own recent…

Size: 45 MB

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