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Tad Hofmeister

Tad Hofmeister

Tad Hofmeister is a Network Architect at Google with a focus on scalable, cost-effective DWDM technologies and software management innovations. He manages the Optical Architecture and Transport Engineering teams in Google’s Cloud Networking group and is Vice President and member of the board of the OIF. Prior to working at Google, Tad was an architect, system engineer, and hardware designer for several optical transport and packet processing companies including: Ciena, Matisse Networks, OpVista, and Applied Signal Technology. Dr. Hofmeister earned MS and Ph.D. degrees in EE from Stanford University and BS degrees from Columbia University and Bates College.

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    Preview abstract Open optical networks present a variety of benefits such as single vendor independence and the opportunity to select best in class devices for each individual role. In this paper we review two degrees of open optical networks, namely ones with transponder-line system and line system-line system interoperability. In this context we discuss Google's experiences with respect to optical link design, software, and controls, deployment, and operation. View details
    Preview abstract C+L open line systems represent a cost-effective way to scale backbone network capacity. In this article, we review challenges and opportunities for C+L line systems stemming from Google's experience in designing, deploying, and operating a global C+L open optical network. We discuss business, operational, and technical aspects of C+L systems, and describe best practices for designing C+L links. Finally, we compare C and C+L systems, showing how the latter not only conceal capacity penalties but can even increase, depending on the deployed fiber types, the total system capacity with respect to two parallel C-band only systems. View details
    Preview abstract Legacy management technologies and concepts are a major blocker to efficiently building and operating a large scale optical network. We provide an overview of new, modern device management technologies and discuss deployment and operational efficiencies that they enable. View details
    Preview abstract Standardized, vendor agnostic data models deliver major operational benefits. OpenConfig has been implemented on multiple platforms and is an ideal data model to take advantage of these benefits. This document provides an overview. View details
    Preview abstract A key area of innovation in optical networking has been enabling modern, vendoragnostic APIs on devices. We provide specifics of how these new capabilities enable deployment and operational efficiencies. View details
    Preview abstract We describe a model-based approach for building a transport SDN platform that uses operator-defined data models to build common APIs for managing multi-vendor optical networks consisting of terminal devices and line systems. View details
    The Prospect of Inter-Data-Center Optical Networks
    Xiaoxue Zhao
    Valey Kamalov
    IEEE Communication Magazine, vol. 51 (2013), pp. 32-38
    Preview abstract Mega data centers and their interconnection networks have drawn great attention in recent years because of the rapid public adoption of cloud-based services. The unprecedented amount of data that needs to be communicated between data centers imposes new requirements and challenges to inter-data-center optical networks. In this article, we discuss the traffic growth trends and capacity demands of Google’s inter-data-center network, and how they drive the network architectures and technologies to scale capacities and operational ease on existing fiber plants. We extensively review recent research findings and emerging technologies, such as digital coherent detection and the flexgrid dense wavelength-division multiplexed channel plan, and propose practical implementations, such as C+L-band transmission, packet and optical layer integration, and a software-defined networking enabled network architecture for both capacity and operational scaling. In addition, we point out a few critical areas that require more attention and research to improve efficiency and flexibility of an inter-data-center optical network: optical regeneration, data rate mismatch between Ethernet and optical transport, and real-time optical performance monitoring. View details
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