Portrait of Chandu Thekkath

Chandu Thekkath

Distinguished Engineer


Chandu Thekkath is a Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft.

Thekkath began his career at Microsoft in 2001 as a Senior Researcher (present-day Senior Principal Researcher) at Microsoft Research Silicon Valley, where he did research in multiple areas: mobile devices, distributed data intensive computing, and large-scale storage systems. He also worked with the Hotmail team as chief architect for the Blue project. Blue went into production use in MSN in mid-2006 and was an early example within Microsoft of a large scale distributed storage system that provided strict read/write guarantees in the presence of disk, machine, and network failures.

In his 15-year career at Microsoft Research, Thekkath has worked both as an individual contributor as well as a manager of research groups, on multiple occasions. Most recently, he worked as the Managing Director of the MSR India Lab in Bangalore from Aug 2014 to Aug 2016.

Since April 2017, he has been working as the Group Engineering Manager for the AI Platforms team.

Prior to Microsoft, Thekkath worked at the DEC/Compaq Systems Research Center, where he held the positions of Principal Engineer, Consulting Engineer, and Manager (Distributed Systems). At DEC, Thekkath’s most influential work was the Petal/Frangipani project. It was completed (and made public) in 1997 and influenced the design of Compaq’s VersaStore products and predates many of the storage and NAS appliances in the industry today. Thekkath was also a principal in the XOM project, which was started when he was on a sabbatical at Stanford in 2000. XOM has many of the same ideas as the current-day Intel SGX.

Thekkath worked as a software development engineer at Monolithic Memories Inc. (now part of AMD) and Hewlett Packard between 1983 and 1988.

Thekkath received a BTech. in EE (Electronics) from IIT Madras in 1982, where he was awarded the Governor’s Prize, an M.S. in EE from UC Santa Barbara in 1983, an M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford in 1989, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Washington in 1994. He is a fellow of the ACM and has published a number of influential papers in the premier conferences in the field and holds about 30 patents in operating systems, networks, distributed systems, and computer architecture.

His publications can be found at his personal home page.

Thekkath is a certified flight and ground instructor. His cunning plan is to earn his living as an instructor in case the computer phenomenon turns out to be a passing fad.