PITA Fiscal Year 2015 Projects

A Secure, High Performance System Interconnect Architecture for Next Generation Data Centers

Lead University: Lehigh University
PI: Dr. Jing (Tiffany) Li, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Co-PI(s): Dr. Xiaolei Huang, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
PA Industry: Accipiter Systems

The number of cloud computing, big data, web, distributed data processing and data warehousing applications that we access progressively more wirelessly from our phones and computers continue to grow and expand into every aspect of our lives. Yet the networking infrastructures that host these applications and support these mobile users are in their infancy. These nascent systems are easily targeted by cyber-attacks. Obsolescence of early protocols such as Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and its networking equipment has degraded network performance. With the likelihood of other protocols going obsolete, new networking solutions are needed that are both secure and more resistant to obsolescence. The new networking advancements will enable new capabilities such as hetergeneous data centers which offer not just rows and rows of server racks with their uniform amounts of processing and memory to host applications but infrastructures with combinations of servers, graphical processing processors, and accelerators with asymmetrical amounts of memory and processors that allow us to implement data centers more cost and energy efficiently. These new infrastructures will dramatically improve the user experience: reductions to delivery times of streaming video, financial transactions times, and access times to cloud hosted user data. This project investigates the performance characteristics of a novel, next generation, secure, computer networking product based on PCI Express technology. Client software developed on this program is installed and operates on early versions of the product. With the completion of this critical project, further Government and private funding is anticipated and ultimately, sale of the equipment to end users. The introduction of a new computer networking technology and products has been proven to drive considerable job creation, up to 2,000 high-tech, high-paying jobs. Pennsylvania has a very unique history of past computer networking business successes in the state. This project seeds a related next generation commercial opportunity.