IBM Research - Zurich Lab (ZRL)

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IBM Research – Zurich Lab

IBM Research – Zurich Lab (ZRL) is one of 12 IBM Research laboratories around the globe. It was established in 1956 and is home to ca. 400 world-­‐class scientists representing more than 45 nationalities, also including 4 Nobel Laureates. Cutting-edge research and outstanding scientific achievements—most notably the ’86 and ’87 Physics Nobel Prizes, and also the invention of Trellis modulation, PRML, OLED, Token Ring etc.— are associated with ZRL. As the main European branch of IBM Research, its mission—in addition to pursuing innovative research for tomorrow’s information technology—is to cultivate close relationships with academic and industrial partners in the EU. IBM Research Zurich strives to be one of the premier places to work for top EU researchers, to promote women in IT and science, and to help drive Europe’s innovation agenda. In 

2011, a new facility for collaborative nano-­scale EU research was opened on the IBM campus in Zurich in a strategic partnership with ETH Zurich. Our team has over two decades of experience in the area of switching, with deep roots in performance analysis. The IBM PowerPRS Packet Routing Switches, aka Prizma for the Telco market, was a 

key achievement in the 1990s. In 2003 we switched our focus to fabrics used in high-­performance computing (HPC) systems. In partnership with Corning we completed the OSMOSIS (Optical Shared MemOry Supercomputer Interconnect System) optical switch demonstrator. With this project, sponsored by the US-­DoE we showed that the use of optical switching for HPC is technically feasible. Our ZRL team focused on system design, the design and implementation of the central scheduler for this bufferless crossbar, and performance analysis. Over the years, we have adapted our network performance analysis methods to address the challenges and needs for HPC systems. We have added the capability to replay MPI (message passing interface) traffic to drive our simulations for HPC interconnect fabrics. We also shifted our focus from highly optimized single stage switch architectures for the telco/router industry to multistage interconnect fabrics used in datacenters and Cloud. We now focus on Ethernet, datacenter/Cloud monitoring (Anghel et al., 2014; Crisan et al., 2014), transport (Crisan et al., 2011) and SDN technologies (Cohen et al., 2013; Crisan et al., 2013).