Prof. Gustavo Alonso

Data Processing on Emerging Hardware

The growing amounts of data, its variety, and the complex workloads many systems face have reopened many questions around data management that were considered closed. At the same time, diverse trends in hardware architectures (the cloud, multicore, hardware acceleration, alternative architectural designs, etc.) provide many of the mechanisms needed to address these newly opened questions. In the talk I will discuss the progress we have made so far in exploiting modern hardware for data processing (many core, FPGAs, RDMA), the type of innovative systems that can be built on these ideas (near data processing, seamless accelerators for databases), and explore our next projects targeting cloud deployments and involving in-network data processing, network protocols customized for databases, FPGA acceleration, and deep embedding of these solutions into a database engine. The talk will focus on the potential that modern hardware offers and how to use it to reach unprecedented levels of functionality and performance in data management systems.


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 of distributed systems and databases, with an emphasis on system architecture. His current research is focused on multi-core architectures, data centers, FPGAs, and big data, mainly working on adapting traditional system software (OS, database engines, network stacks) to modern hardware platforms. Gustavo is a Fellow of the ACM and of the IEEE.