Curator: Provenance Management for Modern Distributed Systems


Warren Smith, The Weather Company; Thomas Moyer, UNC Charlotte; Charles Munson, MIT Lincoln Laboratory


Data provenance is a valuable tool for protecting and troubleshooting distributed systems. Careful design of the provenance components reduces the impact on the design, implementation, and operation of the distributed system. In this paper, we present Curator, a provenance management toolkit that can be easily integrated with microservice-based systems and other modern distributed systems. This paper describes the design of Curator and discusses how we have used Curator to add provenance to distributed systems. We find that our approach results in no changes to the design of these distributed systems and minimal additional code and dependencies to manage. In addition, Curator uses the same scalable infrastructure as the distributed system and can therefore scale with the distributed system.

Open Access Media

USENIX is committed to Open Access to the research presented at our events. Papers and proceedings are freely available to everyone once the event begins. Any video, audio, and/or slides that are posted after the event are also free and open to everyone. Support USENIX and our commitment to Open Access.

@inproceedings {220319,
author = {Warren Smith and Thomas Moyer and Charles Munson},
title = {Curator: Provenance Management for Modern Distributed Systems},
booktitle = {10th {USENIX} Workshop on the Theory and Practice of Provenance (TaPP 2018)},
year = {2018},
address = {London},
url = {},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},