Thomas Zinner: Rising Scholar Award 2019
The goal of the ITC Rising Scholar Award is to recognize young researchers with significant contributions to the ITC Community in the field of performance, traffic modeling and control in communication networks and networking science.
It is our pleasure to award the 2019 ITC Rising Scholar Award to Prof. Dr. Thomas Zinner, associate professor at NTNU Trondheim, Norway. Thomas Zinner contributes to the teletraffic community (1) in a scientific way by formulating and solving problems in next generation networks like SDN or NFV by means of measurements, simulations, and analysis and (2) by strong community efforts through his dedication to the ITC conference.
SDN/NFV led to a paradigm shift in the management and operation of networks. The separation of control and data plane, as well as the idea to virtualize these functions and to run them on standard server hardware has many appealing advantages. These include easy scale up or scale down of computing resources as well as scale out or scale in of virtual machines among the available physical hardware. Further, faster release cycles compared to hardware devices are possible.
Thomas Zinner has significantly contributed to teletraffic research centered on the domain of softwarized networking. His work comprises practical and theoretical investigations utilizing methods from statistics and probability theory, markov modelling and discrete time analysis, as well as simulations and optimization theory. In the performance context, Thomas was involved in the development of performance models for SDN architectures, for softwarized network functions, and for new network data plane technologies like VPP. To be able to accurately model and compute the impact of batch processing and interrupt mitigation techniques he adapts time-discrete analysis techniques to be used for these new problem scenarios. Further work features the adaptation of the aforementioned placement algorithms to support VNF placement.
The derived models and the conducted evaluations enable a better understanding of relevant performance metrics for virtualized network functions. Based on the results, an appropriate dimensioning of the network functions as well as performance prediction can be achieved. The provided placement frameworks can be used by operators to optimize their systems and by researchers to find appropriate baseline solutions.
Thomas Zinner is associate professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in the Department of Information Security and Communication Technology in Trondheim since August 2019. Before, he was visiting professor and head of the FG INET at TU Berlin and head of the research group on "Next Generation Networks" at the chair of Communication Networks at the University of Würzburg. He received his diploma in 2006 and his Ph.D. in 2012, both from University of Würzburg. His research interests cover the performance evaluation of emerging network architecture concepts like SDN/NFV as well as QoE-centric network and service management approaches.