Simon Leinen

I've been working for SWITCH since October 1996.  SWITCH is a non-profit organization to provide networking and IT services to the Swiss academic and research communities.

Since October 2011, I lead the new Peta Solutions team within SWITCH.  We support researchers with special network and IT needs.  The main thrust of our team these days is to design and deploy "cloud" infrastructure for the benefits of the Swiss academic community.  The infrastructure supports the SWITCHengines "IaaS" (infrastructure as a service) services including OpenStack-based virtual machines (VMs) on demand, and also higher-level services such as the SWITCHdrive file synchronization and sharing service.  The infrastructure should be cost-effective, scalable, easy to operate in a reliable manner, and provide awesome connectivity via our backbone network.

Before October 2011 I worked at a network engineer in the Network/LAN team, for the last ~two years as a team leader.  During that time I participated in running SWITCH's IP backbone network, helped introduce technologies such as IPv6 and raise awareness for them, built and operated a traffic accounting infrastructure for SWITCH based on Cisco Netflow, and participated in the IETF, in particular the netconf (which I used to co-chair) and ipfix WGs.

Occasionally I post stuff to my personal blog or on the Peta Solutions blog (now defunct, hopefully to be resuscitated).  For up-to-date professional information, check my LinkedIn profile.  A List of publications can be found on Google Scholar. Lately I have started to post presentations on SlideShare.

Research Interests

  • An alternative Internet architecture with path selection by endpoints (hosts). One possible system would put a complete source route into every packet. These source routes could be represented in a relatively compact way by representing each hop only with as many bits as necessary to represent all possible next-hops at the given position in the source route (one could also use a variable number of bits at each hop in order to keep frequently-used hops short). A variant would allow negotiation of per-hop labels between adjacent routers so that source routes can be inverted. Having invertible source routes adds some interesting optimization and validation possibilities.
  • Software-Defined Networking, interpreted in a liberal sense (but traditional wetware-defined networking should not be dismissed too quickly).  SDN techniques seem especially interesting for cloud networking, which is often "greenfield" and has interesting requirements.  The Snabb Switch project is an awesome example of what SDN could be like: a friendly platform for hacking novel network functionality with usable performance.


Rowing, cycling, recreational programming, ev ad ing overpriced 3G roaming fees 

Short biography

I was born and went to school in the beautiful town of Bonn. Between 1984 and 1991, I studied CS at TU Berlin.  During some of that time, I also worked first at ZIB and then at GMD-FIRST (later integrated into FhG).  Between 1991 and 1995, I worked as a system manager of the Unix (Sun & SGI) boxes at the AI Lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). During 1996 I worked as a technology consultant at IDS.