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Thursday, August 20 • 9:50am - 10:30am
Keynote: Trading Simplicity for Performance When Designing Distributed Systems - Neha Narula

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Predicting performance and debugging problems is critical to successfully running a distributed system in production, and a simple system is easier to reason about and understand. But for many systems, simplicity is fundamentally at odds with performance and scalability -- oftentimes, optimizing our systems to reduce latency and improve scalability requires more and more complex designs. Running complex systems at scale is even riskier because rare corner cases are guaranteed to occur.

An important example of this is scaling an application's data plane. Improving performance and fault tolerance in the data plane requires techniques like caching, replication, partitioning, and precomputation. These techniques greatly increase complexity by introducing problems like cache invalidation, rebalancing, managing staleness, and maintaining consistency.

In this talk, Neha will discuss this tension between simplicity and performance, and describe how to think about and consciously manage these trade-offs.

avatar for Neha Narula

Neha Narula

Neha Narula just completed a PhD at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligance Lab at MIT building fast, scalable distributed systems and databases. In a previous life she helped launch a new version of Digg and was a Senior Software Engineer at Google, where she designed the... Read More →

Thursday August 20, 2015 9:50am - 10:30am PDT
Grand Ballroom

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