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Data Processing in Modern Hardware


19 March 2016

Data Processing in Modern Hardware

Data processing is changing in radical ways. On the one hand, data science and big data have brought an unprecedented growth and variety in data sizes, demanding workloads, data types, and applications. On the other hand, hardware is no longer a source of performance as it has been in the last decades. Instead, it has become a complex, fast evolving, highly specialized, and heterogeneous platform that requires considerable tuning and effort to use optimally.

In this talk I will discuss the issues in data processing that arise as a result of modern hardware: the need to deal with parallelism and distribution, the increasing importance of networking, the proliferation of accelerators, and the raise of heterogeneity in the machine. These issues are both a threat and a challenge, demanding a radical redesign of many aspects of data processing and database engines. Using examples from recent work, I will present several exciting and radically new directions that are opening up for database research.

Gustavo Alonso

Gustavo Alonso is a professor at the Department of Computer Science of ETH Zurich (ETHZ) in Switzerland, where he is a member of the Systems Group. Gustavo has a M.S. and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from UC Santa Barbara. Before joining ETH, he was at the IBM Almaden Research Center.
His research interests encompass almost all aspects of systems, from design to run time. His applications of interest are distributed systems and databases, with an emphasis on system architecture. Current research is related to multi-core architectures, large clusters, FPGAs, and big data, mainly working on adapting traditional system software (OS, database, middleware) to modern hardware platforms.
Gustavo is a Fellow of the ACM and of the IEEE. He has received numerous awards, the most recent include the FCCM 2013 Best Paper Award, the AOSD 2012 Most Influential Paper Award, the VLDB 2010 Ten Year Best Paper Award, and the 2009 ICDCS Best Paper Award. He was the Chair of ACM EuroSys (the European Chapter of SIGOPS), and PC-Chair of a number of conferences in several areas, among others: Middleware (2004), VLDB (2006), Business Process Management (2007), ICDE (2008), VLDB Experimental and Analisys Track (2012), ICDCS (2014), EDBT (2015), VLDB Industrial Track (2016).


  • Gustavo Alonso, Data Processing in Modern Hardware, Keynotes, 19th International Conference on Extending Database Technology (EDBT)

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