September 24, 2019

The Glasshouse, San Jose, CA


Full Agenda Below

Our last interview-based technical event sold out quickly. Get a seat today to ensure a spot. 

Storage is no longer an afterthought and innovations in networks are pushing the limits of what is possible in today’s large-scale datacenters.

We have outlined this convergence in depth and are gathering the leaders from both storage and networking realms to dive into architectures, approaches, shifting workloads, and what the future holds.

Never before has the interconnect and storage hierarchy – moving from compute cores out through caches and now multiple layers of main memory, and fanning out to layers of flash and disk storage and expanding to tape and cloud archives – been so wide, so deep, and so interdependent. And never before have their been so many different options for optimizing the performance of servers and the distributed computing platforms for which they are the building block.

Given all the interest in the data storage and movement that day we are breaking this topic out for an I/O focused event, which we expect will be as technical and dynamic.

This storage and networking confluence will be at the heart of The Next I/O Platform event in San Jose on September 24, 2019.

This will be an interview-focused event with no PowerPoints; just in-depth, live, on-stage interviews with those at the bleeding edge of storage and networks on both the technology creation and end user sides.

As regular readers know, The Next Platform goes far beyond the basics to understand how things work, what they replace and why, who will use what technologies and why, what the ROI is, and finally, how these new innovations impact the wider market and competitive ecosystems.

Interviewers at The Next I/O Platform will ask the same deep, relevant questions with opportunities for audience questions and plenty of time for networking and one-on-one conversations.

Here are some of the live interview-based discussions to expect on this packed, conversation-based day:

Andy Bechtolsheim – Networking pioneer and luminary. Founder and head of development at Arista Networks. Will talk about the issues facing future of networking in the datacenter.

Ville Tuulos, Manager, Machine Learning Infrastructure at Netflix, will talk about optimization of I/O for large-scale AI in Netflix’s AWS-centric cloud environment as well as future challenges as ML workloads increase in scope.

Michael Liberte, Senior Manager, Production Storage Engineering, LinkedIn will discuss the evolution of storage infrastructure at the social media giant over time, bringing us to the present installations and where workloads will drive next-generation storage and I/O.

Nick McKeown, Stanford professor and networking luminary. Founder, former chief scientist of Barefoot Networks (just acquired by Intel).

Dirk Petersen, Infrastructure Director at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, will go into depth about the evolution of the research center’s infrastructure and describe when, where, and how it makes sense to take risks with cutting-edge memory, storage, and networking technologies and when it’s not practical.

Steve Scott, Interconnect pioneer, will describe the evolution of the modern interconnect and his role in those transitions and will focus on the current “Slingshot” interconnect.

Peter Braam, creator of the Lustre parallel file system. Widely recognized thought leader and academic on all things I/O with an evolutionary perspective on the past, present, and future of file systems.

Lakshmi Sharma. from Google, will describe the decision making processes of building large scale networks for the company’s cloud.

Chris Rust, Founder, General Partner at Clear Ventures will provide market context for what is next in high-end networks.

Guru Chahal of Lightspeed Venture Partners will put storage and networking technology trends in market context.

Andy Walls, Storage CTO at IBM on the future of high performance I/O systems.

Special topics we will be exploring include:

Innovation in Storage is Swift, But Where (and Why) Will Disk Persist? With Phil Bullinger, GM of Datacenter Systems and Chris Bergey GM of Datacenter Devices at Western Digital.

Main interviewers for the event include co-founders of The Next Platform, Timothy Prickett Morgan and Nicole Hemsoth. Guest interviewers include computer memory pioneer, Rob Peglar and Los Alamos National Lab‘s storage guru (and I/O expert), Gary Grider, among others.


The Glasshouse is located in the heart of downtown San Jose with many options for hotels, parking, and dining in close walking distance. The venue is known for the quality of its catering with excellent food (provided for all attendees throughout the day) and drinks, including those provided for all attendees at the Next Platform Happy Hour that follows the event and is located (weather permitting) on the attractive Glasshouse patio.

8:30 – 9:00 – Registration begins with coffee, tea and networking.

9:00 – 9:05 – Introduction to The Next I/O Platform.

  • Kickoff to day with hosts, co-founders and co-editors of The Next Platform, Timothy Prickett Morgan and Nicole Hemsoth.

9:05- 9:25 – Morning Keynote to Kick off Storage Section: Andy Watson, CTO, WekaIO

9:30 -9:55 – An Inside Look at Building Storage and I/O Infrastructure at LinkedIn.

  • In-depth interview with Michael Liberte, Senior Manager, Storage Infrastructure Engineering, LinkedIn

10:00 – 10:45 – Emerging Storage/File System Technologies: From Metadata to Massive Scale. Rapid-Fire Interview Series

  • Curtis Anderson (Panasas), Molly Presley (Qumulo)  AB Periasamy (Minio) followed by panel hosted by Peter Braam.

10:45 – 11:10 – Coffee, Networking Break

11:10 – 11:40 – Optimizing I/O for Production Machine Learning at Netflix

  • With Ville Tuulos, Manager, Machine Learning Infrastructure, Netflix.

11:40 – 12:25 – Innovations and Trends in Storage Hardware/Architecture. Rapid-Fire Live Interview Series.

  • Adopting New Storage/Network Technology: Real World Perspectives – Dirk Petersen, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
  • When, Where, Why and How Will Disk Persist– Chris Bergey, Western Digital
  • Shifts in Storage Media, Hyperconvergence, and Automation – Andy Walls, Storage CTO, IBM

12:25 – 1:00 – Lunch (Provided on Site)

1:00 – 1:25 – Networks Keynote: Incremental Improvement Is Not Enough For Interconnects.

  • Mike Zeile, VP Data Center Group (Networking), Intel

1:25 – 1:45 – Networking Moves To A Domain-Specific Architecture.

  • Nick McKeown, Co-Founder, Chief Scientist at Barefoot Networks & Professor of Computer Science and EE at Stanford University.

1:45 – 2:30 – Network and Interconnect Evolution and Trends. Rapid Fire Interview Series.

  • Hyperscale Networking Comes To Datacenters And The Edge. Rajiv Khemani, Founder, CEO at Innovium
  • Ethernet Is Now Ready For HPC And AI, Steve Scott, CTO, Cray
  • Toward a Single Operating System To Rule All Switches And Routers, Devesh Garg, Murali Gandluru, Arrcus

2:30 – 2:50 – Building Large-Scale Networks for Google Cloud.

  • Interview with Lakshmi Sharma, Networking Lead, Google.

2:50 – 3:05 Break

3:05 – 3:25 – The Future of the SmartNIC: Panel Session

Will every server eventually have a SmartNIC, doing all kinds of work that was normally done by processors, storage arrays, and switches? These people will weigh in on the issue:

  • Donna Yasay, vice president of marketing for the Data Center Group at Xilinx
  • John Kim, director of storage marketing at Mellanox Technologies
  • Jim Dworkin, senior director of business development at Intel

3:25 – 3:55 – Interconnect and Intraconnect Panel

Compute used to be distributed across servers, and now it is being distributed within servers with the rise of hybrid computing. There is an alphabet soup of protocols and transports that are emerging to try to lash all of this hardware together – perhaps more than the market will ultimately need. Can these protocols converge, or will they compete? We will ask the following people all about that:

  • Gaurav Singh, corporate vice president of silicon architecture and verification at Xilinx and chairman of the CCIX Consortium
  • Steve Fields, chief engineer of Power Systems and Fellow at IBM for OpenCAPI
  • Michael Krause, vice president and Engineer Fellow, Gen-Z at Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Jim Pappas, director of technology initiatives at Intel for CXL
  • Edward Richards, director of vGPU cloud architecture at Nvidia for NVLink

4:00 – 4:35 – The Road Ahead For Datacenter Networking. Network pioneer, technologist, and investor, Andy Bechtolsheim.

4:35 – 5:00 – Network Venture Capital Panel

Why do smaller, venture-backed companies have a chance to take on well-established incumbents in the networking arena? We will talk about this and other things with:

  • Chris Rust, founder and general partner at Clear Ventures
  • Guru Chahal, partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners
  • Curtis McKee, investment manager at Intel Capital

5:00 – 5:05 – Closing remarks from The Next Platform team.

5:05 – 6:30 – Join us on the patio for The Next AI Platform Happy Hour to discuss the day’s conversations

Register now to ensure a seat.

More coming soon.

Agenda and participants will be updated this week. Keep checking back for more information.

In the meantime, please reach out to event chair, Nicole Hemsoth at  or event producer, Jimme Peters at with any questions.