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Optical Under the Cloud

Microsoft builds and operates large-scale datacenter infrastructures supporting more than 1 million servers which are interconnected by a global network based extensively on fiber assets.  A significant portion of the cost of the network is due to the cost of the optical systems and optical componentry.  Similar to other large-scale cloud providers, Microsoft’s requirements for the optical parts of the network differ substantially from the traditional enterprise or carrier networks.  The scale at which the cloud providers are operating, combined with their high growth rate, has created a new and growing market for optical systems and componentry.   Microsoft is leading the effort on a number of fronts to develop optical technologies that are tailored to the needs of cloud providers.

Jeff Cox, Sr. Director of Network Architecture, Microsoft

Jeffrey L. Cox leads the Architecture, Testing and Standards (ATS) team in Azure GNS whose focus is on developing future end-to-end network infrastructure architectures supporting all of Microsoft’s online and cloud services.

For almost 30 years, Jeff has been involved in architecting, designing, and operating some of the largest scale network infrastructures ever built.  Jeff has also led the development of hardware systems in the packet switching/optical transmission space, built datacenters, developed protocols, and has taught numerous networking courses.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Jeff was Director of Engineering in the Core Business Unit of Juniper Networks focusing on developing next-generation integrated packet-optical technologies at 100Gb/s and beyond.  Prior to Juniper, Jeff was the Director of Research & Technology at BT (British Telecom) leading a group of over 100 researches investigating various networking technologies from physical infrastructure up through end-to-end network architectures.  Prior to BT, Jeff was involved in network architecture at JP Morgan Chase focused on MPLS and optical network deployment.

For five years beginning in 2000, Jeff started Celion Networks, an optical DWDM transmission system company.  Jeff was the Chief Systems Architect for the Celion systems and was responsible for overall product design of the systems. Prior to Celion, Jeff was Sr. Director of Global Data Architecture for Level(3) Communications and was responsible for overall end-to-end architecture for the various packet network infrastructures with a focus on Ethernet and MPLS technologies.  For most of the 1990s, Jeff built large-scale enterprise networks for various large corporations.  Jeff began his networking career in the 1980s at Texas A&M University where he was responsible for the campus academic computing centers and networking infrastructure.







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