Krishan Sabnani is a networking researcher. He has made many seminal contributions to Internet infrastructure design, protocol design, and wireless networks. Krishan is currently a Homewood Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University. Krishan was Vice President of Networking Research at Bell Labs from Jan. 2000 to Sept. 2013. In that role, he managed all networking research at Bell Labs, comprising nine departments in seven countries: USA, France, Germany, Ireland, India, Belgium, and South Korea. Krishan retired from Bell Labs in Jan 2017. He received an award upon his retirement – appointment as Ambassador-at-large for Bell Labs. Krishan is the first person to receive such an award.
Krishan is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering. He has won many awards such as the 2005 IEEE Sumner Award and the 2005 IEEE McDowell Award. He is a fellow of IEEE & ACM, and a Bell Labs Fellow. He was inducted into the NJ Inventors Hall of Fame in 2014.
Krishan received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. He completed his Ph.D. in reliable multicasting at Columbia University. Upon his graduation from Columbia University in 1981, Krishan joined Bell Labs, Murray Hill, New Jersey as a Member of Technical Staff and was promoted to Department Head in 1993. He was named VP of Networking Research in 2000.
Krishan made a breakthrough in Internet re-design. The main idea behind this work was to separate control functions and complex software from the forwarding portions on Internet routers. This work made it possible for forwarding technologies (e.g., different link layers and switching protocols) to evolve and be deployed independently from control protocols (e.g., routing, security). This contribution is a precursor to the current Software Defined Networking (SDN) revolution.