RISE Seminar 10/26/18: Abstractions for the Stateful Control Plane, a talk by Mahesh Balakrishnan

October 26, 2018

Title:                 Abstractions for the Stateful Control Plane

Speaker:           Mahesh Balakrishnan

Affiliation:         Facebook/Yale University

Date and location: Friday, October 26, 12:30 – 1:30 pm; Wozniak Lounge (430 Soda Hall)


At the heart of many cloud-scale systems is a logically centralized control plane that requires strong consistency and fault tolerance: examples include coordination services, SDN controllers, filesystem namespaces, and big data schedulers. Today, these control plane services are difficult to build, harden and scale, requiring complex protocols like Paxos and 2-phase commit that are inefficient when layered and difficult to combine. The shared log approach simplifies such applications by providing a data-centric abstraction that hides the complexity of the underlying distributed system. First generation shared log systems achieve this simplicity by imposing a global total order over updates; such systems have seen significant deployment in industry. In this talk, I’ll describe the genesis, evolution, and current state of shared log systems, including new work that significantly improves their scalability and robustness.


Mahesh Balakrishnan is an engineer at Facebook and an Associate Professor at Yale University (currently on leave). Prior to Yale, he was at the Microsoft Research Silicon Valley Lab, where he worked on the CORFU and Tango systems, and then at VMware Research. He received his PhD from Cornell University.