Thursday, November 14th, 2002
Room 104, Gates Computer Science Building

LOCKSS: Lots Of Copies Keep Stuff

David Rosenthal
Sun Labs

About the talk:

The LOCKSS project at Stanford Libraries is building a peer-to-peer system of persistent, self-healing web caches to preserve academic journals,  government documents and other important information published on the web.  About 50 libraries around the world have been running a test version for about 18 months - we expect to grow to several hundred over the next year as we release the first production version.

Libraries are among the oldest human institutions, having evolved over several millenia into a fault-tolerant peer-to-peer system for preserving information that works remarkably well.  LOCKSS provides librarians with a tool they can use to continue this tradition into the digital future.

Designing a system to work within an existing social and organizational structure has led to interesting technical challenges,  including new approaches to fault tolerance,  trust and system integrity without secrecy in peer-to-peer systems.

About the speaker:

Dr. David Rosenthal is investigating techniques for distributed fault tolerance in a project jointly funded by Sun Labs, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Science Foundation and Stanford University Libraries. The project is aimed at long-term preservation of the web editions of academic journals, such as those published by Stanford's Highwire Press.

David joined Sun in 1985 from the Andrew project at Carnegie-Mellon University. He worked on window systems and was part of the team which developed the X Window System, now the open-source standard. He also worked on graphics hardware, the operating system kernel, and on system and network administration.

David left Sun in 1993 to be Chief Scientist and employee #4 at NVIDIA, now the leading supplier of high-performance graphics chips for the PC industry. He worked on I/O architecture. In 1996 he joined Vitria Technology, now a leading supplier of e-business infrastructure technology. He worked on reliable multicast protocols and on testing industrial-strength software. In 1999 he re-joined Sun.

David received an MA degree from Trinity College, Cambridge and a Ph. D. from Imperial College, London. He is the author of several technical publications and holds 23 patents. His interests include backpacking (the picture was taken at the end of a 2-week trip in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) and the theatre.