Detecting failures in distributed systems with the Falcon spy network

Joshua B. Leners, Hao Wu, Wei Lun Hung, Marcos K. Aguilera, Michael Walfish

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

A common way for a distributed system to tolerate crashes is to explicitly detect them and then recover from them. Interestingly, detection can take much longer than recovery, as a result of many advances in recovery techniques, making failure detection the dominant factor in these systems' unavailability when a crash occurs. This paper presents the design, implementation, and evaluation of Falcon, a failure detector with several features. First, Falcon's common-case detection time is sub-second, which keeps unavailability low. Second, Falcon is reliable: it never reports a process as down when it is actually up. Third, Falcon sometimes kills to achieve reliable detection but aims to kill the smallest needed component. Falcon achieves these features by coordinating a network of spies, each monitoring a layer of the system. Falcon's main cost is a small amount of platform-specific logic. Falcon is thus the first failure detector that is fast, reliable, and viable. As such, it could change the way that a class of distributed systems is built.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSOSP'11 - Proceedings of the 23rd ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles
Pages279-294
Number of pages16
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 7 2011
Event23rd ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles, SOSP 2011 - Cascais, Portugal
Duration: Oct 23 2011Oct 26 2011

Publication series

NameSOSP'11 - Proceedings of the 23rd ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles

Other

Other23rd ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles, SOSP 2011
CountryPortugal
CityCascais
Period10/23/1110/26/11

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • STONITH
  • failure detectors
  • high availability
  • layer-specific monitors
  • layer-specific probes
  • reliable detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software

Cite this

Leners, J. B., Wu, H., Hung, W. L., Aguilera, M. K., & Walfish, M. (2011). Detecting failures in distributed systems with the Falcon spy network. In SOSP'11 - Proceedings of the 23rd ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles (pp. 279-294). (SOSP'11 - Proceedings of the 23rd ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles). https://doi.org/10.1145/2043556.2043583