Monday, April 9, 2007
4:15 pm
5130 Upson Hall

Computer Science
Spring 2007

Bianca Schroeder
Carnegie Mellon University

From web servers to databases to storage systems:  
A methodological approach to system design

Modern computer systems are complex, and designing systems with good performance and high reliability is a major challenge. In this talk, I will show how a measurement driven "methodological" approach to system design can create better systems. The approach combines real-world measurements with techniques from statistical workload and failure analysis, user behavior characterization, analytical modeling, performance evaluation, and scheduling and queuing theory to gain insights into system behavior that lead to better design ideas.

Specific applications we consider in this talk include:

  • How to schedule connections in a web server to combat transient overload;

  • How to provide QoS for database transactions;

  • How to exploit client behavior patterns to maximize system performance;

  • How to improve reliability of large-scale clusters and storage systems.

Bianca Schroeder is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University working with Garth Gibson. She received her doctorate from the Computer Science Department at Carnegie Mellon University under the direction of Mor Harchol-Balter in 2005. She is a two-time winner of the IBM PhD fellowship and her work has won two best paper awards. Her recent work on system reliability has been featured in articles at a number of news sites, including Computerworld, Slashdot, StorageMojo and eWEEK.

Bianca's research focuses on the design and implementation of computer systems. The methods she is using in her work are inspired by a broad array of disciplines, including performance modeling and analysis, workload and fault characterization, machine learning, and scheduling and queuing theory. Her work spans a number of different areas in computer systems, including high-performance computing systems, web servers, computer networks, database systems and storage systems.