Commodity operating systems still retain the design principles developed
when processor cycles were scarce and RAM was precious. These out-dated
principles have led to performance/functionality trade-offs that are no
longer needed or required; I have found that, far from impeding
performance, features such as safety, consistency and energy-efficiency
can often be added while improving performance over existing systems. I
will describe my work developing Speculator, which provides facilities
within the operating system kernel to track and propagate causal
dependencies. Using Speculator, I will show that distributed and local
file systems can provide strong consistency and safety guarantees
without the poor performance these guarantees usually entail.
Bio: Ed Nightingale is a
Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on
experimental software systems, especially operating systems, distributed
systems and mobile computing.