A Layered Architecture for Tracing Distributed Systems


By Rodrigo Fonseca, Brown University, USA.

Abstract. Many tasks for understanding and managing the execution of systems, such as debugging, snapshotting, monitoring, accounting, providing performance guarantees, are much harder in distributed settings. Correspondingly, many techniques such as distributed timestamps, end-to-end tracing, and taint tracking have been successfully used to help with these tasks. Their deployment, however, is usually fraught with difficulties, including intrusive instrumentation and lack of pervasiveness. In this talk I describe a layered architecture that factors primitives that are common to all these techniques – most importantly the causal propagation of generic metadata – with the goal of simplifying the instrumentation of current and new systems, and lowering the barrier for the adoption of these and novel techniques.

Keywords. Distributed Systems, Causal Tracing.

About the speaker. Rodrigo Fonseca is an assistant professor at Brown University’s Computer Science Department. He holds a PhD from UC Berkeley, and prior to Brown was a visiting researcher at Yahoo! Research. He is broadly interested in networking, distributed systems, and operating systems. His research involves seeking better ways to build, operate, and diagnose distributed systems, including large-scale internet systems, cloud computing, and mobile computing. He is currently working on dynamic tracing infrastructures for these systems, on new ways to leverage network programmability, and on better ways to manage energy usage in mobile devices. Rodrigo has a high record of peer reviewed publications; he regularly serves as a PC member in pioneer conferences in his area like SIGCOMM, EuroSys, NSDI, DSN, OSDI, Middleware, HotCloud, etc., and co-chaired some of them. He teaches Computer Networks and Advanced Networking at the Computer Science Department, and he mentored several PhD students.


Address:  University of Minho, Gualtar campus, Braga, Portugal.

Building. Departamento de Informatica, Building 07.

Coffee session: at 11:30AM-12PM, Sala de Estar, 4th floor.

Talks session: at 12PM-13PM, Auditório 2, first floor.