DATE: Thursday, January 15, 2015
TIME: 2:00 - 3:00 pm - NOTE TIME
PLACE: RMCIC 4th Floor Panther Hollow Room

SPEAKER: Vijay Chidambaram, University of Wisconsin-Madison

TITLE: All File Systems Are Not Created Equal: On the Complexity of Crafting Crash-Consistent Applications

Several widely used applications such as SQLite and LevelDB are required to be consistent in the face of power-loss crashes. These applications are run on top of file systems such as ext4 and btrfs. Ensuring that such applications are crash consistent is hard. It becomes even harder because the exact guarantees provided by file systems are unclear and underspecified. In this talk, I will describe how we tackle this challenge. We build tools that allow us to analyze the behavior of file systems and applications from a crash-consistency perspective. We study the behavior of 11 important applications and find that these applications are highly sensitive to the properties of the underlying file system. We find a total of 60 vulnerabilities, many of which lead to severe consequences.

Vijay Chidambaram is a Ph.D candidate at the Computer Sciences department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He broadly works on obtaining crash consistency in storage systems without sacrificing performance. Specifically, by decoupling file-system consistency from write properties such as ordering and durability, his work shows how to obtain both high performance and strong consistency. He was awarded the Microsoft Research Fellowship in 2014, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Alumni Scholarship in 2009.

VISITOR HOST: Garth Gibson

VISITOR COORDINATOR: Angela Miller,, 8-6645

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