Ferhat Khendek has no time for downtime
Every minute that a potential customer cannot connect with a retailer because a server is down has significant repercussions. Institutions, businesses and governments all depend on remaining connected.
- Keep generating innovative ideas.
- Bring in top students.
- Be relevant to industry and work with them.
Things that drive me
- Teaching students and helping them to succeed.
- Bring annual network downtime to just a few seconds.
“If the Apple server is down for a couple of hours, their loss is not the app sales that did not go through, it’s the impact on their reputation,” says Ferhat Khendek, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He designs reliable telecommunications systems that will require less than five minutes downtime per year, including time for maintenance.
During the holiday season, Visa’s servers handle millions of transactions per minute. As people spend more time online, increasing the stress on networks, they also have higher expectations for remaining connected when making calls, completing transactions or checking email. Beyond commerce, reducing downtime for health and security networks can mean the difference between life and death in emergency situations.
For the past 14 years, Khendek has worked closely with Ericsson to develop software and network architecture to bring downtime below five minutes per year. The successful partnership earned him a prestigious (Senior) Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)/Ericsson Industrial Research Chair on Model-Based Software Management.
“This is the ultimate partnership between industry and the university,” he says. The chair gives him $1.5 million, over five years, to develop techniques so systems can meet that five-minute benchmark.