Colloquia: Professor Harrick M. Vin/UT-Austin & TRDDC India Conquering Complexity through Managed Evolution in ACES 2.302

Contact Name: 
Jenna Whitney
Date: 
Feb 16, 2006 11:00am - 12:00pm

Speaker Name/Affiliation: Professor Harrick M. Vi

n/UT-Austin & TRDDC India

Talk Title: Conquering Complexity thro

ugh Managed Evolution

Date/Time: February 16 2005 at 11:00 a.m.

Location: ACES 2.302

Host: Lorenzo Alvisi

Talk Abstrac

t:
A defining characteristic of the information age is our
reliance

on vast complex and intertwined information technology
(IT) plants?co

nsisting of large numbers of heterogeneous
high-capacity computing co

mmunication and storage systems
as well as wide-range of software comp

onents. The rapid
increase in the complexity of such IT plants however
is
fast approaching a barrier. The presence of this barrier
is ev

ident in: (1) the nearly universal reluctance of system
administrators

to modify functional systems even when upgrades
are required; (2) the
widespread recognition that IT systems
are brittle and respond to chan

ges in unpredictable ways;
and (3) the fact that IT plants have become
very labor intensive
and costly to maintain with system administratio

n and upgrade
accounting for 60-80% of the TCO in many IT plants. Conse

quently
systems that we depend on to promote change are fast becoming

obstacles to change.

We argue that continuous evolution is a key
contributor
to complexity. Evolution of IT plants is governed by sever

al
factors including the need to enhance the plant to accommodate

additional software functionality or users; as well as the
need to mee

t the demands of changing requirements changing
technology and/or chan

ging operating conditions (workload
faults etc.). Today evolving IT

plants in a timely manner
while maintaining desired levels of performan

ce stability
and security is an art; system evolution tasks are intu

ition-based
and manual. The objective of the Systems Research Lab (SRL)

a new R&D entity being established at Tata Research Development
a

nd Design Center (TRDDC) is to conquer complexity by developing
method

ologies and tools to manage system evolution. In this
talk I will desc

ribe the overall R&D vision for the Systems
Research Lab and then outl

ine some of the specific activities
and challenges.

Speaker Bio

:
Harrick Vin is a Professor in the Department of Computer
Sciences

at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the
founding Director of th

e Distributed Multimedia Computing
Laboratory and the co-Director of th

e Laboratory of Advanced
Systems Research (LASR) at UT Austin. His rese

arch interests
are in the areas of networks operating systems distrib

uted
systems and multimedia systems. While on a leave of absence
f

rom UT for 2005-2006 Dr. Vin is heading the Systems Research
Lab (SRL)
being established at the Tata Research Development
and Design Center (

TRDDC) in Pune India.