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Distinguished Lecture || How to Build a Reliable System Out of Flaky Components


September 30, 2022


2150 Torgersen Hall

Radia Perlman

Fellow, Dell Technologies

How to Build a Reliable System Out of Flaky Components

One way of making a system reliable is to ensure that all components are reliable and completely trustworthy.  Another way, which is usually more realistic, is to design a system so that even if some of the pieces might be faulty or even malicious, the system as a whole will continue to be reliable and trustworthy.  This talk describes several types of problems with different types of solutions. It will also argue against the assumption, by some, that all you need to do is throw "blockchain" into a system to make a perfectly reliable system.

About the Speaker

Radia Perlman is a Fellow at Dell Technologies. She is known for inventing fundamental technology enabling robust, largely self-managing, and scalable link state routing, used in the specific protocol she designed (IS-IS), and similar protocols (OSPF). She also invented the spanning tree algorithm which transformed Ethernet from a technology that supported a few hundred nodes within a single building, to something that could support large networks. She also has made contributions in network security, including scalable data expiration, distributed algorithms despite malicious participants, and DDOS prevention techniques. She is the author of the textbook "Interconnections" (about network layers 2 and 3) and coauthor of "Network Security". She has been recognized with many industry honors including induction into the National Academy of Engineering, the Inventor Hall of Fame, The Internet Hall of Fame, Washington State Academy of Science, and lifetime achievement awards from Usenix and SIGCOMM. Dr. Perlman has a PhD in computer science from MIT.

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