Dependable Systems for Managing Valuable Data

by Dr. Edward Tremel

  • When: Friday, 08/21/2020, between 1pm and 2pm
  • Where: Zoom; Outside guests please RSVP by emailing Harley Eades


Distributed computing systems have become an essential piece of infrastructure for today’s businesses, organizations, and governments; they store, manage and interpret vast amounts of data, and allow groups of people to communicate and take coordinated actions. With the emergence of Internet-of-Things devices, distributed systems are also responsible for monitoring and automating the physical world. As a result, distributed systems face competing demands: they must be dependable enough to be relied upon for essential tasks, but responsive enough to handle requests with tight time constraints.

My research focuses on building distributed systems that provide dependability guarantees while still maintaining high performance. In this talk I will describe my work on one of these systems, Derecho, which is a library for building replicated datacenter applications. Derecho allows distributed services to increase their fault-tolerance and scalability by organizing servers into replicated shards, while achieving incredibly high data throughput and low response latency. It accomplishes this by redesigning state-machine-replication and fault-management protocols to use non-blocking, asynchronous communication, and separating data flow from control messages. Derecho also includes optional mechanisms for making services durable by logging state to persistent storage, and in the second half of my talk I will describe my work on a distributed restart algorithm for Derecho and other durable replicated services. This algorithm efficiently restarts a sharded, replicated service from state stored in persistent logs, while respecting node placement constraints and ensuring the state is mutually consistent across all subsystems.

Author Bio

Edward Tremel is an assistant professor of Computer Science in the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences at Augusta. He received his PhD in Computer Science in 2020 from Cornell University, where he was advised by Ken Birman. Previously, he attended Brown University, where he graduated in 2013 with an honors Sc. B. in Computer Science. His research on fault-tolerant distributed systems has been published in ACM Transactions on Computer Systems and the IEEE International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks.

School of Computer and Cyber Sciences Augusta University