2021 AusPDC – Massivizing Computer Systems: a Vision to Understand, Design, and Engineer Computer Ecosystems through and beyond Modern Distributed Systems
Our society is digital: industry, science, governance, and individuals depend, often transparently, on the inter-operation of large numbers of distributed computer systems. However successful, we cannot take these computer ecosystems for granted: the core does not rely on sound principles of science and design, engineering is often based on hacking, and there are warning signs about operations. Inspired by these challenges and by our experience with distributed computer systems for the past 15 years, we envision Massivizing Computer Systems, a domain of computer science focusing on understanding, controlling, and evolving successfully such ecosystems. Beyond establishing and growing a body of knowledge about computer ecosystems and their constituent systems, the community in this domain should also aim to educate many about design and engineering for this domain, and all people about its principles. This is a call to the entire community: there is much to discover and achieve, and to get meaningful, long-lasting results we need to form a community spanning Distributed Systems, Performance Engineering, Software Engineering, and more.
Alexandru Iosup is professor and University Research Chair at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and member of the Young Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences of the Netherlands. He chairs the Massivizing Computer Systems research group at the VU and the SPEC-RG Cloud group. His work in distributed systems and ecosystems has received prestigious recognition, including the Netherlands ICT Researcher of the Year and Higher-Education Teacher of the Year.