Course Info

LecturesMondays 10:15-12:00, BC010
InstructorBabak Falsafi
Email, URLbabak.falsafi /at/ epfl.ch, http://parsa.epfl.ch/~falsafi
OfficeINJ 233
Phone+41 21 69 35592
InstructorAnne-Marie Kermarrec
Email, URLanne-marie.kermarrec /at/ epfl.ch, http://people.epfl.ch/anne-marie.kermarrec
OfficeBC 162
Phone+41 21 69 31297
AssistantYunho Oh
Email, URLyunho.oh /at/ epfl.ch, http://yunho-oh.github.io/
OfficeINJ 239
Admin. AssistantStephanie Baillargues
Emailstephanie.baillargues /at/ epfl.ch
OfficeINJ 234

Topics on Datacenter Design

Contemporary datacenters are warehouse-scale computers with hundreds of thousands of servers and multi-megawatt power budgets, running today's most demanding online services (e.g., web search, social networks, media streaming). In this course, we will survey a broad and comprehensive spectrum of design topics in modern datacenters including infrastructure, server hardware, networking and storage technologies. Students will also understand the implications of warehouse-scale computing on software, including programming models, databases, file systems, and resource management. Finally, the course will cover a number of cross-cutting issues, such as quality of service, energy efficiency, and TCO (total cost of ownership).

The course will use technical research papers from recent years in top venues corresponding to each topic, and will be run as a seminar series with student presentations followed by an in-class discussion.

Topics addressed by this course include:

Who should take CS 728?

CS 728 is a graduate course and is highly recommended for master and PhD students. Like other graduate-level courses, the course includes weekly readings, discussions, and questions on papers of seminal and recent contributions to the field of datacenters and warehouse-scale computing.

Readings and Presentations

In this course, we will read papers, and take turn presenting them. It is absolutely important to read the papers prior to attending class because the class will proceed in the form of a discussion among participants and a presentation to introduce the main topics covered in the papers. The students will take turn presenting throughout the semester.


You are expected to be in the classroom and actively participate in the discussions.


Computer Systems


The students will be graded based on class discussions, presentations and short reviews written for each reading assignment.