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Ariel Hendel


Since 2016 Ariel Hendel is an Infrastructure Technologist at Facebook, Inc, Menlo Park, California, USA. Prior to Facebook, Ariel was a Distinguished Engineer and Senior Technical Director at Broadcom, Inc between 2008 and 2016 also in California. Between 1995 – 2008 he was a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems, USA and prior to that Ariel worked at Intel in the USA and Israel. Born in Uruguay, Ariel graduated as an Engineer from Techion – Israel Institute of Technology.

His current field of interest is Data Center Networks, particularly simulations and how to guide and drive semiconductor innovation to maximize efficiencies of large scale Data Centers.

KeynoteTuesday 12th February 2019

Simulating Data Center Networks

Ariel Hendel, Infrastructure Technologist

Pallavi Shurpali, Infrastructure Engineer

Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, California, USA



The massive scale of Compute and Storage capacity designed and deployed by Mega Data Center operators has naturally attracted much attention.

In terms of efficiency improvements in all its engineering aspects, be it power distribution, cooling, optimal compute building blocks, selective use of DRAM, flash, and spinning media for different storage tiers, and the network that binds all parts together.

At such scale efficiency matters a lot. Unlike other technology innovations, operators view these efficiency gains as benefitting the industry in general and have collaborated to share them across the entire ecosystem and supply chain for example within the Open Compute Project (OCP).

Ultimately the services hosted in Data Centers, owned by the Operator or not, come from semiconductors in the form of Processors, Memory subsystems, Non-Volatile Memories, I/O interfaces, and network switches. The innovation in such semiconductors has been the fuel behind the increase in Data Center Capacity applied to growing services.

We postulate that the efficiency gains, applied so far to system level aspects, may be getting into diminishing returns. However, semiconductor innovation has been limited to process transitions per Moore’s law, more than architectural innovation. Arguably architectural and certainly algorithmic innovation for compute and storage endpoints can be pursued at small scale, and then be deployed at scale. This is much harder to do for networking.

We combine the above observations, with some recent network simulation work we performed to suggest a path forward. The development of a multi-party network simulation framework that can model a Data Center network and its endpoints at Data Center scale, and to apply such a framework to drive semiconductor level innovation either at the component level, or even at the functional block level.

In our talk we present the driving forces behind the idea, some partial work done that leads us to our larger vision, and the role we see for technologists and academia joining and driving this vision forward.




Q & A session

Tuesday 12th February 2019, 11:25 am – 12:10 pm – Schedule


Presentation at 2018 Open Compute Project Summit

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