The largest distributed systems involved the art of gathering vast amounts of computing resources from many people and organizations to channel them into something that is often not practical by other means. At the intersection of software, economics, and sociology, they involve both exciting technology, and the complexities of human motivation and interaction. While currently centralization and consolidation rule the buzzword space, distributed systems provide powerful capabilities to those willing to embrace the uncertainty involved. This talk will explore the current methods for constructing these systems, the 35 years of history they draw upon, and active work integrating massive storage and on-demand post-processing into a volunteer-powered system dubbed Storage@home to augment Folding@home.
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About the speaker:
Adam L. Beberg has been building distributed systems since 1990. He founded Mithral Communications & Design in 1995, which is the home of the Cosm distributed computing tools. In 1997 he was a founder and president of distributed.net until 1999, during which RC5 was cracked once and DES was cracked twice - the second time in 22 hours with the additional help of the EFF's Deep Crack. In 1999 he met Vijay Pande and collaborated on Folding@home, leading to the use of Cosm as the network library in Folding@home. He was also honored as one of MIT Technology Review's TR100 top young innovators of 1999. He has worked and spoken extensively in the areas of distributed computing, storage, and computer security. With a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, he has been at Stanford since 2004 working on a PhD in Vijay Pande's lab working on next generation distributed computing methodologies, after which he will find a nice day job in academia and start his epic quest for tenure.
Adam L. Beberg