Hitesh Ballani

Contact Information:
21 Station Road
Cambridge CB1 2FB, UK
+44 1223 479876

I am a researcher in the Cloud Infrastructure team at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK. My research aims to build systems and networks for next-generation data centers. Our current focus is on developing optical technologies for the cloud. Earlier, I graduated from Cornell University where I indulged in follies like Scalable Internet Routing and Network Management.

With our Optics for the Cloud effort (2016-), we are delving deeper into the data center stack. Our team brings together hardware, optics, networking and application-level expertise to take a cross-stack view towards developing optical technologies that could underpin the next-generation of our cloud infrastructure. We also collaborate with several top universities as part of our Optics for the Cloud research alliance.

Broadly, I enjoy working on real-world problems, particularly ones that span technical domains. For example, as part of the Predictable Data Centers project (2010-15), we developed technologies for enabling predictable performance across shared cloud resources like networking and storage. Applying traditional networking ideas to the storage stack was key to a lot of our innovation, leading to the SMB Bandwidth Limiting feature in Windows Server 2012 R2, and inspiring the end-to-end Storage QoS feature in Windows Server 2016. This post discusses our journey from whiteboard discussions to a shipping product.


In the past, I have worked on the following projects: