March 4th, 2009 by lucas
This blog post is long overdue, but like Lenny, it was finally released. Yes, I defended my PhD thesis on December 4th. So I’m officially a Doctor from the Université Joseph Fourier Grenoble.
The general context of my thesis is distributed systems, like peer-to-peer systems and applications running on HPC (High Performance Computing) cluster and grids. More specifically, I worked on methods and tools to study such systems, trying to answer the following questions: take a given application that will run on a distributed system. What can we learn or verify about its performance or its characteristics? Will it scale well, even with 1000 or 10000 nodes? Does this app perform better than this another app? Under which conditions? (that’s probably the hardest question, because you need to be able to run both apps under the same conditions if you want a fair comparison!)
My work involved studying basic building blocks that can be used to study distributed systems, like network emulators (Dummynet, Linux’s traffic control subsystem, NISTNet). I also designed P2PLab, which allows to emulate network-centric peer-to-peer systems using a cluster, targetting experiments with thousands of emulated instances of the application. For example, it allowed to run experiments with ~15000 emulated BitTorrent nodes using 160 real machines.
So what’s next? Well, my first-priority plan is to make use of my PhD to apply to an academic position (maitre de conférences, i.e assistant professor). If you know an open position where I would be a good fit, don’t hesitate to tell me! Of course, this plan might very well fail (I will know around end of June). In that case, I’ll probably be looking for a job, likely Free-Software-related. Again, if you hear of something for me, ping me!