Project Iris

Project Iris explores novel designs of regional and Wide Area (WAN) cloud networks from the ground-up motivated by the rapid growth of cloud network traffic across data centers.

Project Iris WAN and Metro DCI lab

Building upon recent advancements in optical technologies, we focus on investigating network architectures that are amenable to a distributed data center model and on designing the optical elements that can efficiently support and scale such architectures. These include both new hardware and data plane mechanisms such as building the next-generation transceivers and new switching and reconfiguration technologies, as well as re-defining the control and management planes and capacity planning based on software defined principles.

Project Iris seeks to innovate across the whole cloud stack by co-designing the cloud’s software and hardware infrastructure through a cross-disciplinary team with expertise across systems, networking, optics (system, sub-system and device-level), and hardware. In Project Iris, we concentrate on the regional and WAN infrastructure; we are also developing optical network technologies for the network within the data center (Project Sirius).

Project Iris is part of the broader Optics for the Cloud project, which explores the future of cloud infrastructure at the intersection of optics and computer science.




Portrait of Hitesh Ballani

Hitesh Ballani

Principal Researcher

Portrait of Christian Belady

Christian Belady

GM - DC Advanced Development

Portrait of Paolo Costa

Paolo Costa

Senior Principal Researcher

Portrait of Jeff Cox

Jeff Cox

Partner Director Network Architecture

Portrait of Christos Gkantsidis

Christos Gkantsidis

Principal Researcher

Portrait of Istvan Haller

Istvan Haller

Senior Research Software Development Engineer

Portrait of Nick Harland

Nick Harland

Principal Program Manager

Portrait of Thomas Karagiannis

Thomas Karagiannis

Principal Researcher

Portrait of Francesca Parmigiani

Francesca Parmigiani

Principal Researcher

Portrait of Anna Ptasznik

Anna Ptasznik

Spatial Analyst

Portrait of Winston Saunders

Winston Saunders

Director, Datacenter Technology


Portrait of Kai Shi

Kai Shi


Portrait of Benn Thomsen

Benn Thomsen

Senior Principal Researcher

Interns and Collaborators

Portrait of Vojislav Dukic

Vojislav Dukic

Intern, 2019

ETH Zurich

Portrait of Ginni Khanna

Ginni Khanna

Intern, 2019

Technical University of Munich

Portrait of George  Mourgias-Alexandris

George Mourgias-Alexandris

Intern, 2018

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Portrait of Theofilos Petsios

Theofilos Petsios

Intern, 2017

Columbia University

Portrait of Marti  Sales Llopis

Marti Sales Llopis

Intern, 2018

University of Cambridge

Portrait of Shengxiang  Zhu

Shengxiang Zhu

Intern, 2019

University of Arizona