Skills Matter

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Alexander Reinefeld

Alexander Reinefeld is the head of the Computer Science department of the Zuse Institute Berlin and a professor for parallel and distributed systems at the Humboldt-Universit├Ąt zu Berlin. He received a Faculty Award on grid computing in 2002, a Sir Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Post-Doctoral Fellowship in 1987, and a PhD scholarship by the German Academic Exchange Service in 1984. In 1987 and 1984 he spent two years abroad at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and before he worked as an assistant professor and free-lance software consultant in Hamburg. His research interests include grid and peer-to-peer computing, distributed data management and high-performance computer architecture.

Alexander Reinefeld is Giving the Following Talks
Building a transactional distributed data store with Erlang

The e-commerce platforms at Amazon, E-Bay or Google serve millions of customers using tens of thousands of servers located in data centers throughout the world. At this scale, components fail continuously and it is difficult to maintain a consistent state while hiding failures from the application. Peer-to-peer protocols have been invented to provide availability by replicating services among peers. The current systems are perfectly tuned for sharing read-only data. To extend them beyond the typical file sharing, the support of transactions on distributed hash tables (DHTs) is a most important but yet missing feature.

At this talk given at the Erlang eXchange 2008, Alexander presented a key/value store based on DHTs that supports consistent writes. Alexander will explain how a system by Zuse Institute Berlin and onScale solutions GmbH comprises of three layers, all of them implemented in Erlang:
  • a DHT layer for scalable, reliable access to replicated distributed data,
  • a transaction layer to ensure data consistency in the face of concurrent write operations,
  • an application layer with a very demanding access rate of several thousand reads/writes per second.
For the application layer, Zuse Institute Berlin and onScale solutions GmbH selected a distributed, scalable Wiki with full transaction support. Alexander will show that its Wiki outperforms the public Wikipedia in terms of served page requests per second and he will discuss how the development of the distributed code benefited from the use of Erlang rather than C++ or Java.

This is a joint development by Zuse Institute Berlin and onScale solutions GmbH.