Check out the new USENIX Web site.

Home About USENIX Events Membership Publications Students
USENIX '05 Paper    [USENIX '05 Technical Program]

next up previous
Next: Introduction

Surviving Internet Catastrophes

Flavio Junqueira, Ranjita Bhagwan, Alejandro Hevia, Keith Marzullo and Geoffrey M. Voelker

Department of Computer Science and Engineering

University of California, San Diego


In this paper, we propose a new approach for designing distributed systems to survive Internet catastrophes called informed replication, and demonstrate this approach with the design and evaluation of a cooperative backup system called the Phoenix Recovery Service. Informed replication uses a model of correlated failures to exploit software diversity. The key observation that makes our approach both feasible and practical is that Internet catastrophes result from shared vulnerabilities. By replicating a system service on hosts that do not have the same vulnerabilities, an Internet pathogen that exploits a vulnerability is unlikely to cause all replicas to fail. To characterize software diversity in an Internet setting, we measure the software diversity of host operating systems and network services in a large organization. We then use insights from our measurement study to develop and evaluate heuristics for computing replica sets that have a number of attractive features. Our heuristics provide excellent reliability guarantees, result in low degree of replication, limit the storage burden on each host in the system, and lend themselves to a fully distributed implementation. We then present the design and prototype implementation of Phoenix, and evaluate it on the PlanetLab testbed.

next up previous
Next: Introduction
Flavio Junqueira 2005-02-17

This paper was originally published in the Proceedings of the 2005 USENIX Annual Technical Conference,
April 10–15, 2005, Anaheim, CA, USA

Last changed: 2 Mar. 2005 aw
USENIX '05 Technical Program
USENIX '05 Home