Project Sirius

Project Sirius



Cloud network traffic is expected to more than double every two years and have increasingly stringent latency requirements. This trend is at odds with the possibility that electrical network switches may not continue to scale in line with Moore’s law. These disruptions necessitate a rethink of the cloud network.

Project Sirius is investigating whether ultra-fast optical switching within data centers could allow us to sidestep these disruptions. It aims to develop an all-optical, data-center-wide network that is completely flat, in contrast to the hierarchy of electrical switches used today. By eliminating the inefficiencies of hierarchy and leveraging the strengths of optics, such a network could provide better and more predictable performance with higher reliability and at lower cost.

Sirius builds upon recent advancements in nanosecond-granularity optical switching and increasing maturity of the optical fabrication ecosystem. It opens up the exciting opportunity of completely rethinking the cloud network stack from the ground up. This, we believe, can enable new cloud applications and scenarios that are difficult to support today.

While Sirius re-imagines the network within data centers, we are also developing optical network technologies for future regional and WAN networks (Project Iris). In both these efforts, we aim to innovate across the cloud stack by co-designing the cloud’s software and hardware infrastructure. Our cross-disciplinary team thus spans the entire stack, with experience in systems and networking, optics (system, sub-system and device-level), and hardware.



Interns and Visitors

  • Portrait of Dan Blumenthal

    Dan Blumenthal

    Visiting Researcher, Summer 2017


  • Portrait of Kari Clark

    Kari Clark

    Intern, Spring 2016


  • Portrait of Adam Funnell

    Adam Funnell

    Intern, Summer 2016


  • Portrait of Nadeen Gebara

    Nadeen Gebara

    Intern, Summer 2016

    Imperial College

  • Portrait of Thomas Gerard

    Thomas Gerard

    Intern, Fall 2016


  • Portrait of Hussein Kassir

    Hussein Kassir

    Intern, Summer '15

    École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

  • Portrait of Qi Li

    Qi Li

    Intern, Summer 2015

    Columbia University

  • Portrait of Philip Watts

    Philip Watts

    Visiting Researcher, Fall 2016


  • Portrait of Aaron Zhao

    Aaron Zhao

    Intern, Summer 2017

    University of Cambridge