Researchers Convene at Carnegie Mellon University to Address the Future Requirements of Cloud Computing

Speakers from Industry and Academia Describe R&D Efforts to Meet the Future Needs of the Data Center and Cloud

Los Gatos, California – May 12, 2014
The Industry-Academia Partnership (IAP) conducted the 2014 Carnegie Mellon Workshop in Gates Hall at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, on April 4, with the theme "Meeting the Future Needs of the Data Center and Cloud." The IAP is a new association formed to address the revolutionary changes required for the underlying hardware and software as multi-core compute, storage and networking converge for the future data center and cloud.

Professor Onur Mutlu is an IAP board advisor and was the campus host and Workshop co-organizer with Dr. Jim Ballingall, IAP executive director.  Several professors participated in the Workshop and assisted with the program organization, including Professors Greg Ganger, Andy Pavlo, Mor Harchol-Balter, and Eric Xing.  Cavium, Cisco, and SanDisk were Platinum Sponsors of the Workshop.

Speakers from industry and academia described their research and development efforts underway to meet the future needs of the data center and cloud, spanning the full scope of cloud technologies, including the following:

  • Keynote: Prof. Onur Mutlu, Carnegie Mellon,  "Rethinking Memory System Design for Data-Intensive Computing"
  • Keynote: Prof. Greg Ganger, Carnegie Mellon, “Scheduling Heterogeneous Resources in Cloud Datacenters”
  • Prof. Rajeev Balasubramonian, Utah, “Practical Approaches to Memory Security in the Cloud”
  • Bryan Chin, Cavium, “Head in the Clouds–Building a Chip for Scale-out Computing”
  • Dr. Joon Kim, SK Hynix, “The Future of NVM Memories”
  • Prof. Andy Pavlo, Carnegie Mellon,  “OLTP on NVM: YMMV"  
  • Dr. John Busch,  SanDisk,  “The Impact of Flash Memory on the Future of Cloud Computing”
  • Charles Butler, Canonical (Ubuntu),  “The Future of Datacenter Orchestration: Realizing Service Oriented Architecture”
  • Prof. Mor Harchol-Balter, Carnegie Mellon,  “Dynamic Power Management in Data Centers”
  • Prof. Eric Xing, Carnegie Mellon,  “Petuum: A New Platform for Cloud-based Machine Learning to Efficiently Solve Big Data Problems”
  • Majid Bemanian,  Imagination Technologies, “Security in the Cloud and Virtualized Mobile Devices”
  • Robert Broberg, Cisco, “Cloud Security Challenges and Solutions”

The student poster session displayed a dozen presentations on cloud-related research by students from Carnegie Mellon and one by the University of Pittsburgh, representing the collective contributions of over 40 students, professors, and industry researchers. The Best Poster Award for a Graduate Student went to Jinglei Ren of Carnegie Mellon for his work “Transparent Hybrid Non-Volatile Memory (NVM).” Ren and his collaborators Justin Meza, Dr. Samira Khan, and Prof. Mutlu are researching a new method to merge cloud server memory with storage using a hybrid of DRAM and NVM, with an automated efficient consistency guarantee.  The Best Poster Award for an Undergraduate Student was shared by Xiaofan Li and Sean Klein of Carnegie Mellon for their project “Distributed Key-value Database Servers using Raspberry Pi’s.”  The Poster Session was sponsored by Cavium, Cisco and SanDisk, and the awards were presented by Dr. Busch, Prof. Ganger, and Dr. Ballingall.

Professor Mutlu is the Strecker Professor at Carnegie Mellon, and the inaugural winner of the IEEE Computer Society TCCA Young Computer Architect Award. He is associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, a graduate field member of computer science, and an IAP Board Advisor. Professor Mutlu commented: "This was our first IAP Workshop at Carnegie Mellon, and so I was extremely pleased with the strong support and turnout by the other Carnegie Mellon professors in both Computer Science and in Electrical and Computer Engineering.  We actually had a packed room at 8:30a.m., and you don’t often see that at a campus event like this. That indicates the broad interest in cloud and data-intensive computing and the recognition for the need for collaborations between industry and academia to meet the future requirements.”

Professor Greg Ganger is the Jatras Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon.  He is Director of Carnegie Mellon's Parallel Data Lab (PDL) and academic Principal Investigator for the Intel Science and Technology Center for Cloud Computing (ISTC-CC).  Prof. Ganger commented, “It was a productive workshop, and I enjoyed hearing from and interacting with industry engineers from companies with which we do not currently have deeper relationships via the PDL Consortium.  Interactions between industry and academia, like these, are critical to creating solutions to meet the demanding power and performance problems facing future data centers and cloud computing.  I look forward to future IAP Workshops.”

Dr. John Busch, Vice President and SanDisk Fellow, stated, “The IAP provides a unique opportunity for a flash storage solutions provider, such as SanDisk, to interact with leaders in academia and industry across the entire solution stack – from components to software and data center infrastructure. The interactions with students and professors were extremely informative, and the caliber of the attendees and speakers at this IAP Workshop was equally impressive. The poster session was another highlight for me, and by the way, our recruiters were very pleased with the turnout at the IAP Career Fair that ran during the breaks and in parallel with the poster viewing session.”

Prof. Andy Pavlo, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon stated, “This IAP Workshop was fantastic, starting with the dinner the night before the Workshop, to the reception after the technical sessions. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and got a lot out of it.  I was really impressed by the industry and Carnegie Mellon turnout by both electrical and computer engineering and computer science.  I was able to reconnect with some industry people I had not seen in a while, as well as make some new friends and contacts for collaborative research.”

Robert Broberg, Distinguished Engineer at Cisco, commented, “At Cisco, we view our collaborations with academia to be instrumental in developing new innovative solutions and driving new standards for cloud computing.  These Workshops offer a more intimate forum than the big conferences to network with leading academic and industry stakeholders regarding the future needs of the data center. I was very pleased to see the strong turnout by professors and students at the Workshop, and their presentations were extremely impressive.”

Bryan Chin, Sr. Director, Systems Applications Engineering at Cavium, stated, “I am very pleased to participate in activities like these in an area where industry-academia collaborations are essential to push innovation forward. The IAP Workshops are truly outstanding venues to interact with fellow researchers and talented students who are developing the next generation of cloud technologies. I greatly look forward to future IAP Workshops.”

Farhad Tabrizi, Senior Vice President, Samsung commented, “This was my third IAP Workshop, and that makes three in a row for me now. I value these Workshops because they provide an ideal setting for give-and-take discussions that address key industry trends, and I always seem to come away with new relationships and ideas that support our work in cloud computing solutions here at Samsung.  It’s always great to interact with so many professors and talented students at CMU.”

Dr. Ballingall, Executive Director of the IAP summed up, “According to university program rankings such as U.S. News and World Report, Carnegie Mellon is tied for the ranking of the number one computer science program in the world. So, we were thrilled with the high turnout by the Carnegie Mellon staff and students, as well as the level of industry participation, and the breadth and depth of expertise represented.”

IAP membership and attendance at IAP Workshops is free for university professors, staff and students. Industry attendees must be IAP members or invited by the IAP. Video transcripts and slides of the presentations will be made available to IAP members. For further information, please see

About the Industry-Academia Partnership: The IAP is an association of university professors, students and industry with the goal being to catalyze new product innovations by bringing together industry and university partners in pursuit of some common data center goals in education, research and product development. The IAP Board of Advisors includes Professor David Brooks of Harvard University, Professor Christos Kozyrakis of Stanford University, Professor José Martínez of Cornell University, Professor Onur Mutlu of Carnegie Mellon University, and Professor Daniel Sanchez of MIT. Dr. Jim Ballingall of Ballingall Consulting is the Executive Director. The IAP conducts workshops periodically on university campuses.  For further information, visit the IAP website at and contact the IAP at