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Zsolt István

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Zsolt István
PhD - ETH Zurich, Suiza
Antiguo Assistant Research Professor

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Short Bio

I am an assistant professor at the IMDEA Software Institute in Madrid, Spain.
I earned my PhD title from the Systems Group at ETH Zurich, where I was advised by Prof. Dr. Gustavo Alonso.
I have a Master’s degree in Distributed Systems from ETH Zurich (2013), and an Engineering degree in Computer Science from the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (2011).

Research Interests

The fundamental question I want to answer in my research is how to use specialization to speed up database operations and data processing in the datacenter. See presentations about my work on this Youtube playlist.

My dissertation explores how we can reduce data movement bottlenecks in large distributed systems by pushing computation closer to storage. The outcome is Caribou: a distributed key-value store that runs entirely on FPGAs. It provides replication for fault tolerance and near-data filtering while meeting the network’s line-rate requirements. Caribou is open source and can be used as a starting point for exploring near-data processing for emerging workloads.

Previously I have been working on new ways of implementing high-throughput hash tables in FPGAs. I contributed to our IBEX project (database storage engine running on an FPGA) a hash table which performs fast Group By aggregation, and I worked on an FPGA-based memcached pipeline while on an internship at Xilinx Labs (see my Master thesis).

Prior to that I worked on annotation-based parallelization of objects in a distributed computing framework on top of Java and on distributed random number generation using the BlobSeer storage engine.