How to Build a Software Defined Server, and How Best to Use it

Ike Nassi
Founder, Chairman and CTO

TidalScale, USA


Click here for Ike Nassi’s presentation slides.

It has become possible to build Software Defined Servers that combine a number of separate commodity servers in such a way that the resulting integrated system contains the sum of all the memory, all the cores, all the disks and all the networks of all the servers into a single strongly coherent system running a single operating system. No changes are needed to the operating system nor to any applications. However, if one were willing to make some rather simple changes to the way an application is written to make use of the greatly expanded physical address space and number of cores, and if data ingest into this memory was done in parallel, significant performance advantages could accrue. In this presentation, we will discuss how to build a software defined server, and then how best to use it.


Dr. Ike Nassi is Chief Executive Officer and Founder of TidalScale, an early stage startup that provides a layer of software that sits between the operating system and the hardware that aggregates multiple servers and runs them as if they were a single server running a single conventional operating system. Nassi is also an adjunct professor of Computer Science at UC Santa Cruz, and is a founding trustee at the Computer History Museum. Previously, he was an executive vice president and chief scientist at SAP where he ran several domestic and international research centers, and was personally involved in what today is called SAP Hana. Before joining SAP, Ike helped start three companies: Encore Computer Corporation, a pioneer in symmetric multiprocessors; InfoGear Technology, which developed both Internet appliances (including the first iPhone) and associated backend services; and Firetide, a wireless mesh networking company. He has  held executive positions at Cisco Systems, Apple Computer, Visual Technology, and Digital Equipment Corporation. Dr. Nassi has been a visiting scholar at Stanford University, a research scientist at MIT, and a visiting scholar at University of California, Berkeley. He has served on the board of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, the IEEE Computer Society Industry Advisory Board. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and in 2008 completed a global leadership development program at INSEAD. He was awarded a certificate for Distinguished Service from the Department of Defense, and a Certificate of Appreciation from DARPA.