Broadly, I am
interested in large-scale parallelism in computer systems and its
implications on application performance, operating system design, fault
tolerance and big data in cloud computing. My particular interests focus on
secondary memory system technologies and optimization, scalable file and
key-value storage systems, scalable machine learning and systematic testing
for large scale systems. I have a strong interest in shepherding technological advances from blackboard through standards and to commercial reality .
I joined the faculty
of CMU's Computer Science Department in 1991. Previously I received a
Ph.D. and a M.Sc. in Computer Science in 1991 and 1987, respectively,
from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to Berkeley, I received
a Bachelor of Mathematics in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics
in 1983 from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
In 1993 I founded CMU's
Parallel Data Laboratory (PDL)
and led it until April 1999.
Today the PDL is led by Greg Ganger. The PDL is a community that typically comprises
between 6 to 9 faculty, 2 to 3 dozen students and 4 to 10 staff. It
receives support and guidance from a consortium of 15 to 25 companies
with interests in parallel data systems, the Parallel Data Consortium.
This community holds biannual retreats
and workshops to exchange technology ideas, analysis and future directions.
The publications of the PDL are
available for your inspection.
The principal contributions
of my first twenty years of research: Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive
Disks (RAID), Informed Prefetching
and Caching (TIP) and Network-Attached Secure
now an ANSI SCSI command set standard (OSD),
have all stimulated derivative
research and development in academia and industry. RAID, in particular,
is now the organizing concept of a 10+ billion-dollar marketplace (more
on RAID in my 1995 RAID tutorial).
In 1999 I started Panasas
Inc., a scalable storage cluster company using an object storage architecture and providing 100s of TB of
high-performance storage in a single management domain for national laboratory, energy sector, auto/aero-design, life
sciences, financial modeling, digital animation, and engineering design markets
In 2006 I founded a Petascale Data Storage Institute (PDSI) for the Department of Energy's Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC). Led by CMU, with partners at Los Alamos, Sandia, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest and Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, and University of California, Santa Cruz and University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, this Institute gathers together leading experts in leadership class supercomputing storage systems to address the challenges involved in moving from today's terascale computers to the petascale computers of the next decade.
PDSI has run its course, leaving ongoing collaboration among the community at the annual Parallel Data Storage Workshop
(PDSW), between Los Alamos National Laboratory and CMU (IRHPIT), and an open source parallel checkpoint middleware file system
In 2008 I turned to Data Intensive Scalable Computing, Clouds, and Scalable Analytics, participating in the
design and installation of 2 TF, 2TB, 1/2PB of computing in an OpenCirrus and an OpenCloud cluster. We installed and
operate a Hadoop cluster for any and all researchers at CMU and have published observations on their use of this
facility and benchmarking tools for it. Astrophysics was a strong early user, computational biology and geophysics
filling out a natural science slate, but the heaviest users were doing variants of machine learning and big data and the
major collaboration has been the Intel Science and Technology Center for Cloud Computing
In 2011 I helped the New Mexico Consortium recycle retired Los Alamos National Laboratory supercomputing clusters
into an NSF funded open platform for scalable systems development and testing
(PRObE). PRObE offers multiple clusters with 1000s of cores in either
low-core-count high-node-count clusters or high-core-count low-node-count clusters. Researchers at universities and labs
from all around the country are using PRObE to demonstrate the scalability of their systems research ideas.
- 2014 Fellow of the IEEE for contributions to the performance and reliability of transformative storage systems.
- 2012 Fellow of the ACM for contributions to the performance and reliability of storage systems.
- 2012 Jean-Claude
Laprie Award in Dependable Computing Industrial/Commercial
Product Impact Category, by the IFIP Working Group 10.4 on
Dependable Computing and Fault Tolerance, for outstanding papers
published at least 10 years ago that have significantly influenced
the theory and/or practice of dependable computing. Awarded for the
SIGMOD88 "RAID" paper.
- 2011 SIGOPS Hall
of Fame for the SIGMOD88 "RAID" paper because it is one of "the most influential Operating Systems papers that were published at least ten years in the past." Selected by past program chairs from SOSP, OSDI, EuroSys, past Weiser and Turing Award winners from the SIGOPS community, and representatives of each of the Hall of Fame Award papers.
- 1999 Reynold B. Johnson Information
Storage Award, an IEEE Technical Field Award, for outstanding contributions
to the field of information storage, with emphasis in the area of computer
storage. Awarded at the 1999 International Symposium on Computer Architecture
for the development of Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks (RAID).
- 1999 Allan Newell
Award for Research Excellence, Carnegie Mellon University.
- 1998 Test of Time Award for the most influential paper in the ACM SIGMOD Int. Conf. on Management
of Data proceedings 10 years prior.
- 1991 A.C.M. Doctoral Dissertation
Award (tied for second).
- New code described in our SOSP13 paper has been released:
Parrot a runtime scheduler that reduces unnecessary concurrency in pthread codes, and employs
DBUG to systematically test all concurrency required for high performance (and inserted under explicit programmer annotations).
- New code on running concurrent-write HPC codes on top of single-writer HDFS storage is now supported in the 2.4 release of PLFS. The code is available online at github.com/plfs.
- NSF PRObE (www.nmc-probe.org) resources are live and beginning to see wide use. See our June 13 USENIX ;login: article for more details.
- Garth's 1988 RAID paper wins the Jean-Claude Laprie Award in Dependable Computing -- Mar 30, 2012
- Garth is interviewed by The Register on
HPC -- buffering the brute-force burst -- Mar 29, 2012
- Faster Memory, Faster Compute - Livestream interview with Garth / GigaOM Structure Data Conference -- Mar 23, 2012
- Interview by Datanami at SC11 on RAID, Panasas, pNFS and Hadoop -- Nov 18, 2011
- Garth's 1988 RAID paper wins entrance to the Operating Systems (SIGOPS) Hall of Fame -- Oct 25, 2011
- Garth's student, Swapnil Patil, wins first place in the 2010 ACM Graduate Student Research Competition -- June10, 2011
- Garth quoted in the CMU Press Release NSF Funds Computer Systems Research Center
At New Mexico Consortium in Los Alamos:
Carnegie Mellon To Provide Expertise as a Global Leader in the Field -- September 30, 2010
- Garth quoted in the NYT article on H.P.’s Bidding War With Dell Underscores the Demand for Data Storage -- August 23, 2010
- www.crn.com - Storage Superstars: Meet The Visionaries, slide 3 -- June 18, 2010
- TALK: Improving Storage Services in the Cloud.
Garth Gibson. 3rd Open Cirrus Summit, Seoul, Korea, June 8-9, 2010. Quicktime MOV [250MB, ~15 min]
- Infoworld lists Gibson as one of The Best CTOs of 2010 -- June 2, 2010
- Enterprise Storage Forum asks Can Declustering Save RAID Storage Technology? -- May 20, 2010
- TALK: Supercomputer storage at LANL.
Garth Gibson. Google Scalability Conference on June 14 2008, in Seattle WA.
You Tube Video - part 1 | part 2
- RAID Turns Rad -- Storage Enterprise Forum, March 12, 2008
- Yahoo! Launches New Program to Advance Open-Source Software for Internet Computing -- Yahoo! Press Release, November 12, 2007
- Garth Gibson participates in King Abdullah University of Science and Technology IT Summit -- PR Web,
November 1, 2007
- Panasas Invents 'Tiered Parity' -- HPCWire.com, October 12, 2007
- Storage Guru: Q&A With Garth Gibson -- eWeek.com, August 9, 2007
- Preparing for Failure -- EnterpriseStorageForum.com, October 10, 2006
- PLFS (see SC09 paper below and institutes.lanl.gov/plfs) has been released on Sourceforge (sourceforge.net/projects/plfs) under a BSD license. It is available through MPI-IO libraries or FUSE user level file system reflector. It is being put into production HPC use at Los Alamos.
- pNFS, or Parallel NFS, is a subset of the new features in NFS version 4.1 (www.pnfs.com, RFC 5661-5664, tools.ietf.org/html/rfc566x for x=1,2,3,4). pNFS hails from a workshop in Dec 2003 when Garth Gibson and Peter Honeyman asked "what is next for NFS" and Gibson/CMU/Panasas answered: delegation of file layouts (direct and indirect pointers in an inode, sort of). Based on the NASD file system work (ASPLOS98 below) that inspired Panasas (FAST08 below), pNFS allows client machines to request a (revocable) map of the locations of data in a storage area network (seen as SCSI blocks, SCSI objects or NFS files) which the client can use to directly access file data (without access being proxied by the NFSv4.1 server).
- an implementation of pNFS built on top of NFS files was taken into Linux in 2.6.39
- an implementation of pNFS built on top of SCSI objects was taken into Linux in 2.6.40, renamed as 3.0
- an implementation of pNFS built on top of SCSI blocks was taken into Linux 3.1
- extension of pNFS built on SCSI objects with RAID 1 and RAID 5 over objects on different data servers, taken into Linux 3.2
- Past member of the
technical council of the Storage Networking Industry Association
(SNIA), an international organization
of about 100 networking and storage companies formed in July 1999.
and chair, National Storage Industry Consortium (NSIC) working group
on Network-Attached Storage Devices (NASD), 1996-1999. Program chair for eleven
NSIC/NASD sponsored public workshops (75 presentations
and 500 attendees). The result of these efforts was presented in "Object
Based Storage Devices: A Command Set Proposal," (http://www.nsic.org/nasd/final.pdf,
November 1999) which was written to launch an ANSI standards effort
in the X3/T10 (SCSI) committee.
- Release of NASD Scalable Storage
Systems Prototype code, version 1.1 in July 1999, and version 1.3
in May 2000. This code implements CMU's view of the next generation
storage interface (SCSI-4?) and a simple set of changes for a distributed
file system to exploit it.
- Release of RAIDframe Rapid Prototyping Tool for
RAID Systems code, August 1996. This code, suitably debugged and
adapted, appears as the RAID device driver in the current release of
the NetBSD operating system.
ACM DIgital Library Publication List • Google Scholar Publication List
- Scaling File System Metadata Performance With Stateless
Caching and Bulk Insertion. Ren, Kai, Qing Zheng, Swapnil Patil, Garth
Gibson. ACM/IEEE Int'l Conf. for High Performance Computing, Networking,
Storage and Analysis (SC'14), November 16-21, 2014, New Orleans, LA. PDF
- Will They Blend?: Exploring Big Data Computation atop Traditional HPC NAS Storage. Elis Wilson, Mahmut Kandemir, Garth Gibson. The 34th International
Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS 2014). Madrid, Spain, June 30 - July 3, 2014. PDF
- Exploiting bounded staleness to speed up Big Data analytics. Cui, Henggang, Qirong Ho, James Cipar, Jin Kyu Kim, Seunghak
Lee, Abhimanu Kumar, Jinliang Wei, Wei Dai, Gregory R. Ganger, Phil B. Gibbons, Garth A. Gibson, Eric P. Xing. USENIX Annual Technical
Conference (ATC'14), June 19-20, Philadelphia, PA. PDF, MultiMedia link
- More Effective Distributed ML via a Stale Synchronous Parallel Parameter Server.
Ho, Qirong, James Cipar, Henggang Cui, Seunghak Lee, Jin Kyu Kim, Phil B. Gibbons,
Garth A. Gibson, Gregory R. Ganger, Eric P. Xing.
2013 Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS 2013), Dec 5-10, Lake Tahoe, NV.
- Structuring PLFS for Extensibility.
Cranor, Chuck, Milo Polte, Garth A. Gibson.
Proc. of the Eighth Parallel Data Storage Workshop (PDSW13),
co-located with the Int. Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC13),
Denver, CO, November 2013.
- PARROT: A Practical Runtime for Deterministic, Stable and
Reliable Threads. Heming Cui, Jiri Simsa, Yi-Hong Lin, Hao Li, Ben Blum,
Xinan Xu, Junfeng Yang, Garth A. Gibson. 24th ACM Symposium on Operating
Systems Principles (SOSP'13), Nov 4-6, 2013, Farmington, PA.
- TABLEFS: Enhancing Metadata Efficiency in the Local File
System. Kai Ren, Garth Gibson. 2013 USENIX Annual Technical Conference,
June 26-28, 2013, San Jose, CA. PDF
- Solving the Straggler Problem with Bounded Staleness.
James Cipar, Qirong Ho, Jin Kyu Kim, Seunghak Lee, Gregory R. Ganger, Garth
Gibson, Kimberly Keeton, Eric Xing. 14th USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in
Operating Systems, May 13-15, 2013, Santa Ana Pueblo, NM. PDF
- Shingled Magnetic Recording: Areal Density Increase Requires New Data Management. Tim Feldman, Garth Gibson. USENIX ;login:, v 38, n 3, June 2013. PDF
- I/O Acceleration with Pattern Detection. Jun He, John Bent, Aaron Torres, Gary Grider, Garth Gibson, Carlos Maltzahn, Xian-He Sun.The 22nd Int. ACM Symposium on High Performance Parallel and Distributed Computing (HPDC'13), New York City, June 17-21, 2013. PDF
- Discovering Structure in Unstructured I/O. Jun He, John Bent, Aaron Torres, Gary Grider, Garth Gibson, Carlos Maltzahn, Xian-He Sun. Proc. of the Seventh Parallel Data Storage Workshop (PDSW12), co-located with the Int. Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC12), Salt Lake City, UT, November 2012. PDF
- A Case for Scaling HPC Metadata Performance through De-specialization. Swapnil Patil, Kai Ren, Garth Gibson. Proc. of the Seventh Parallel Data Storage Workshop (PDSW12), co-located with the Int. Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC12), Salt Lake City, UT, November 2012. PDF
- TABLEFS: Embedding a NoSQL Database inside the Local File System. Kai Ren, Garth Gibson. 1st Storage System, Hard Disk and Solid State Technologies Summit, IEEE Asia-Pacific Magnetic Recording Conference (APMRC), November 2012, Singapore. PDF
- Scalable Dynamic Partial Order Reduction. Jiri Simsa, Randal Bryant, Garth Gibson, Jason Hickey. Third Int. Conf. on Runtime Verification (RV2012), 25-28 September 2012, Istanbul, Turkey. PDF
- The Power and Challenges of Transformative I/O. Adam Manzanares, Meghan McClelland, John Bent, Garth Gibson. 2012 IEEE Int. Conf. on Cluster
Computing (CLUSTER12), 24-28 September 2012, Beijing, China. PDF
- Indexing a large-scale database of astronomical objects. Bin Fu, Eugene Fink, Garth Gibson, and Jaime Carbonell. Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Interfaces and Architecture for Scientific Data Storage (IASDS), September 2012, Beijing, China. PDF
- Exact and Approximate Computation of a Histogram of Pairwise Distances between Astronomical Objects. Bin Fu, Eugene Fink, Garth Gibson, Jaime Carbonell. 1st Workshop on High Performance Computing in Astronomy (AstroHPC'12), June 2012, Delft, Netherlands. PDF
- File System Virtual Appliances: Portable File System Implementations. Michael Abd-El-Malek , Matthew Wachs, James Cipar, Karan Sanghi, Gregory R. Ganger, Garth A. Gibson, Michael K. Reiter. ACM Transactions on Storage, Vol. 8, No. 3, Article 39, May 2012. PDF
- YCSB++: Benchmarking and Performance Debugging Advanced Features in Scalable Table Stores. Swapnil Patil, Milo Polte, Kai Ren, Wittawat Tantisiriroj, Lin Xiao, Julio Lopez, Garth Gibson, Adam Fuchs, Billie Rinaldi. Proc. of the 2nd ACM Symposium on Cloud Computing (SOCC '11), October 27–28, 2011, Cascais, Portugal. Supersedes Carnegie Mellon University Parallel Data Laboratory Technical Report CMU-PDL-11-111, August 2011. PDF
- On the Duality of Data-intensive File System Design: Reconciling HDFS and PVFS. Wittawat Tantisiriroj, Swapnil Patil, Garth Gibson, Seung Woo Son, Samuel J. Lang, Robert B. Ross. SC11, November 12-18, 2011, Seattle, Washington USA. Supersedes Carnegie Mellon University Parallel Data Lab Technical Report CMU-PDL-11-108. April 2011.
- Recipes for Baking Black Forest Databases: Building and Querying Black Hole Merger Trees from Cosmological Simulations. Lopez, J., C. Degraf, T. DiMatteo, B. Fu, E. Fink, G. Gibson. 23rd Scientific and Statistical Database Management Conference (SSDBM'11), July 2011. PDF
- Six Degrees of Scientific Data: Reading Patterns for Extreme Scale Science IO. Lofstead, Jay, Milo Polte, Garth Gibson, Scott A. Klasky, Karsten Schwan, Ron Oldfield, Matthew Wolf, Qing Liu. 20th ACM Int. Symp. On High-Performance Parallel and Distributed Computing (HPDC'11), June 2011. PDF
- Otus: Resource Attribution and Metrics Correlation in Data-Intensive Clusters. Kai Ren, Julio Lopez, Garth Gibson. The 2nd International Workshop on MapReduce and its Applications (MapReduce'11), June, 2011. PDF
- Scale and Concurrency of GIGA+: File System Directories with Millions of Files. Patil, S., G. Gibson. Proc 9th USENIX Conf. on File and Storage Technologies (FAST11), February, 2011. PDF
- dBug: Systematic Evaluation of Distributed Systems. Jiri Simsa, Randy Bryant, Garth Gibson. 5th Int. Workshop on Systems Software Verification (SSV’10), co-located with 9th USENIX Symp. On Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI’10), Vancouver BC, October 2010. PDF
- pWalrus: Towards Better Integration of Parallel File Systems into Cloud Storage. Yoshihisa Abe, Garth Gibson.Workshop on Interfaces and Abstractions for Scientific Data Storage (IASDS10), co-located with IEEE Int. Conference on Cluster Computing 2010 (Cluster10), Heraklion, Greece, September 2010. PDF
- DiscFinder: A Data-Intensive Scalable Cluster Finder for Astrophysics. Fu, B., K. Ren, J. Lopez, E. Fink, G. Gibson. ACM Int. Symp. On High Performance Distributed Computing (HPDC), June 2010. PDF
- PLFS: A Checkpoint Filesystem for Parallel Applications. Bent, J., G. Gibson, G. Grider, B. McClelland, P. Nowoczynski, J. Nunez, M. Polte, M. Wingate, “,” Int. Conf. for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC2009), Nov. 2009. PDF
- Understanding and Maturing the Data-Intensive Scalable Computing Storage Substrate. Gibson, G., B. Fan, S. Patil, M. Polte, W. Tantisiriroj, L. Xiao. 2009 Microsoft eScience Workshop, Pittsburgh, PA, October, 2009. PDF
- Directions for TDMR System Architecture: Synergies with SSDs. Gibson, G.A., Milo Polte. Proc. of the I.E.E.E. International Symposium on Magnetics (INTERMAG09), Sacramento CA, March 2009. PDF, TALK
- Safe and Effective fine-grain TCP Retransmissions for Datacenter Incast Communication. Vasudevan, V., A. Phanishayee, H. Shah, E. Krevat, D.G. Andersen, G.R. Ganger, G.A. Gibson, B. Mueller, S. Seshan. SIGCOMM'09, August 16-21, 2009, Barcelona, Spain. PDF
- In Search of an API for Scalable File Systems: Under the table or above it? Patil, S., G.A. Gibson, G.R. Ganger, J. Lopez, M. Polte, W. Tantisiriroj, L. Xiao. HotCloud'09, June 15, 2009, San Diego, CA. PDF
- Enabling Enterprise Solid State Disks Performance. Polte, M., J. Simsa, G. Gibson. 1st Workshop on Integrating Solid-state Memory into the Storage Hierarchy, March 7, 2009, Washington DC. PDF
- Scalable Performance of the Panasas Parallel file System. Welch, B., M. Unangst, Z. Abbasi, G. Gibson, B. Mueller, J. Small, J. Zelenka, B. Zhou. 6th USENIX Conf on File and Storage Technologies (FAST'08), Feb. 2008, San Francisco, CA. PDF
- Measurement and Analysis of TCP Throughput Collapse in Cluster-based Storage Systems. Phanishayee., A., E. Krevat, V. Vasudevan, D.G. Andersen, G.R. Ganger, G.A. Gibson, S. Seshan. 6th USENIX Conf on File and Storage Technologies (FAST'08), Feb. 2008, San Francisco, CA. PDF
- Understanding failure in petascale computers. Schroeder, B., Gibson, G.A. SciDAC 2007. Journal of Physics: Conf. Ser. 78. PDF
- Disk Failures in the Real World: What Does an MTTF of 1,000,000 Hours Mean to You? Schroeder, B., Gibson, G.A. Proceedings of the 5th USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST '07),
February 13–16, 2007, San Jose, CA. PDF
- A Large-scale Study of Failures in High-performance-computing Systems. Schroeder, B., Gibson, G.A. Proceedings of the International Conference
on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN2006), Philadelphia, PA, USA,
June 25-28, 2006. PDF
- Scheduling Speculative Tasks in a Compute Farm. Petrou, D., G. Ganger, G.A. Gibson. High Performance Computing, Networking, and Storage Conference (SC2005), Seattle, WA., November 2005. PDF
- Active Disks for Large-Scale Data Mining. Riedel, E., C. Faloutsos, G.A. Gibson, D. Nagle. ACM Computer Magazine, June 2001.
- Network Attached Storage Architecture. Gibson, G.A., R. Van Meter. Comm. of the ACM, Vol. 43,
No 11, November, 2000. PDF
- Dynamic Function Placement for Data-Intensive
Cluster Computing. Amiri, K., D. Petrou, G.
Ganger, G.A. Gibson. USENIX Technical Conference, San Diego, June 2000.
- Highly Concurrent Shared Storage. Amiri, K., G.A. Gibson,
R. Golding. Int. Conf. on Distributed
Computing Systems (ICDCS2000), April 2000. PDF
- Automatic I/O Hint Generation through Speculative Execution. Chang, F.,
Proceedings of the Third USENIX Symposium of Operating Systems Design
and Implementation (OSDI), February 1999. PDF
- Active Storage for Large-scale Data Mining and Multimedia
Applications. E. Riedel, G. A. Gibson,
C. Faloutsos. Proceedings of the 1998 Very Large Data Bases conference
(VLDB), August 1998. PDF
Cost-Effective High-Bandwidth Storage Architecture. Gibson, G.A, et. al. Int. Conf. on Architectural
Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems, ASPLOS, October,
- Report of the Working Group on Storage I/O Issues
in Large-Scale Computing. G. A. Gibson, J. S. Vitter,
J. Wilkes, eds. ACM Workshop on Strategic Directions in Computing
Research. ACM Computing Surveys, 28, 1, Dec. 1996. PDF
- Informed Prefetching
and Caching. R. H. Patterson, G. A.
Gibson, E. Ginting, D. Stodolsky, and J. Zelenka. Proc. of the 15th Symposium of Operating Systems Principles,
December 3-6, 1995. PDF
- Architectures and Algorithms for On-line Failure Recovery
in Redundant Disk Arrays. M. Holland, G. A. Gibson,
D. P. Siewiorek. J. of Distributed and Parallel Databases,
Vol. 2, No. 3, July, 1994. PDF
- A Case for Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks
(RAID). D. A. Patterson, G. A.
Gibson, R. H. Katz. Proceedings of the International Conference on Management of
Data (SIGMOD), June 1988. PDF