COLLOQUIUM | Warehouse-scale Computers: Opportunities and Challenges

March 9, 2015 - 15:40 - 17:00

ECE Colloquium and Distinguished Visitor Talk
Warehouse-scale Computers: Opportunities and Challenges
Mary Lou Soffa, Owen R. Cheatham Professor, University of Virginia

Room 2020 / 2030, Fred Kaiser Building
2332 Main Mall, UBC | Directions here
refreshments available from 3:40, talk begins at 4pm

Web-service companies such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Yahoo, and Apple spend hundreds of millions of dollars to construct and operate Warehouse-scale Computers (WSC) which provide popular web-services such as search, social networking, webmail, video streaming, enterprise management tools, online maps, automatic translation, and online courses. The primary advantages of WSC are the scalability and cost benefits for both the end-users and web-service companies. These WSCs house hundreds to thousands of machines to provide the computing resources needed to serve millions of users. This talk will discuss some of the opportunities, challenges and potential solutions that arise from co-locating latency sensitive and latency-insensitive tasks on commodity computing platforms. The goal is to improve system utilization (and reduce total cost of ownership) while ensuring that applications that need guaranteed quality of service are service appropriately.

Mary Lou Soffa is the Owen R. Cheatham Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Virginia, where she was also Department Chair from 2004 to 2012. She had spent many years at the University of Pittsburgh before moving to Virginia. She is well known for her work on programming languages and computing systems. She has also devoted enormous energy toward increasing the numbers and successes of underrepresented members in the computing research community. She is a member of CRA-W, the committee on the status of women in computer science and engineering of the Computing Research Association. She has directed 25 Ph.D. students to completion, half of whom are women, and over 50 M.S. students.


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