Feeds

Google network chief jumps to ... Microsoft

Network boffins predict end of Google

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Update Vijay Gill – the man who oversaw The Google Network – is now at Microsoft, according to sources familiar with his move.

According to Gill's LinkedIn profile, he departed Google last month, and though neither Google nor Microsoft will comment on his departure, sources tell The Register that he has moved to Redmond.

Vijay Gill

Vijay Gill

Najam Ahmad, Microsoft's former global networking services general manager, has moved to Facebook as the social networking outfit's director of networking, and Gill is apparently stepping into Ahmad's role in Redmond.

At Google, according to his LinkedIn profile, Gill managed "all backbone, datacenter, and related infrastructure". The joke among networking insiders that his departure from Mountain View signals the end of Google. In 2006, Gill stepped down as AOL's senior technical manager of network infrastructure, and the company is now a shell of its former self. Likewise, insiders say, when Gill joined MFN/AboveNet in 2000, it was "the best network on the planet", but since his departure, not so much.

It seems that Microsoft is now in the process of converting its network from the OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) routing protocol to the Intermediate System to Intermediate System (IS-IS) protocol, which one insider calls Gill's "trademark".

In 2009, just after the launch of Microsoft's Bing search engine, Gill shared a stage with Najam Ahmad, then Microsoft's networking guru, at a conference in San Francisco. Gill was somewhat critical of Microsoft's back-end infrastructure. "Our approach is a little more absolute than [Microsoft's]," Gill said. "Not only does getting to the end user have to be fast, but the back end has to be extremely fast too. ... [We are] virtualizing the entire fabric so you get maximum utilization and speed on a global basis as opposed to local fixes - putting one service in a data center, for example, in Denver.

"You want to figure out how you want to distribute that across the entire system so you get it as horizontal as needed, which is essentially the definition of cloud computing." Google's setup, he indicated, provided better performance than Microsoft's approach. And as he mentioned various research papers on the net that would flesh out his arguments, he would make a sly nod to Microsoft's efforts to catch Google's search engine. "If you Bing for it," he would say, "you can find it."

Now, it seems, he drives the network under Microsoft's efforts to catch Google. ®

Update

Vijay Gill has responded to this article on his blog. "I feel that such articles are toxic," he says. "The simplistic approach sensationalizes a few personalities and while it may make for good copy and get pageviews, the actual folks who did the work get no credit and it is wrong. With such a talented pool of folks at Google, enabled by a culture of excellence that starts from the top, anyone could have done a great job, but no one mentions that.

"The work is about the team, the culture of data-driven decisions, fair and firm debate, and a refusal to compromise. Credit should go unto those who deserve it: the incredible teams at the company. My own part if any, was managing to get out of the way of the folks doing the work."

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.