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Distinguished Lecture

Recovery Oriented Computing (ROC)

David PattersonPardee Chair of Computer ScienceUniversity of California at Berkeley

It is time to broaden our performance-dominated research agenda. A
four order of magnitude increase in performance over 20 years means that
few outside the CS&E research community believe that speed is the only
problem of computer hardware and software. If we don't change our ways,
our legacy may be cheap, fast, and flaky.
Recovery Oriented Computing (ROC) takes the perspective that hardware
faults, software bugs, and operator errors are facts to be coped with,
not problems to be solved. By concentrating on Mean Time to Repair rather
than Mean Time to Failure, ROC reduces recovery time and thus offers
higher availability. Since a large portion of system administration is
dealing with failures, ROC may also reduce total cost of ownership. ROC
principles include design for fast recovery, extensive error detection
and diagnosis, systematic error insertion to test emergency systems, and
recovery benchmarks to measure progress.
If we embrace availability and maintainability, systems of the
future may compete on recovery performance rather than just processor
performance, and on total cost of ownership rather than just system
price. Such a change may restore our pride in the systems we craft.
David Patterson joined the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley in 1977, where he now holds the Pardee Chair of Computer Science. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is a fellow of both the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) and the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).
He led the design and implementation of RISC I, likely the first VLSI Reduced Instruction Set Computer. This research became the foundation of the SPARC architecture, used by Sun Microsystems and others. He was a leader, along with Randy Katz, of the Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks project (or RAID), which led to reliable storage systems from many companies. He is co-author of five books, including two with John Hennessy, who is now President of Stanford University. Patterson has been chair of the CS division at Berkeley, the ACM SIG in computer architecture, and the Computing Research Association.
His teaching has been honored by the ACM, the IEEE, and the University of California. Patterson shared the 1999 IEEE Reynold Johnson Information Storage Award with Randy Katz for the development of RAID and shared the 2000 IEEE von Neumann medal with John Hennessy for "creating a revolution in computer architecture through their exploration, popularization, and commercialization of architectural innovations."

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