The USENIX Association is the Advanced Computing Systems Association. It was founded in 1975 under the name "Unix Users Group," focusing primarily on the study and development of Unix and similar systems. In June 1977, a lawyer from AT&T Corporation informed the group that they could not use the word UNIX as it was a trademark of Western Electric (the manufacturing arm of AT&T until 1995), which led to the change of name to USENIX. It has since grown into a respected organization among practitioners, developers, and researchers of computer operating systems more generally. Since its founding, it has published a technical journal entitled ;login:.

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USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • SREcon17 Asia/Australia: Merou: A Decentralized, Audited Authorization Service
    Luke Faraone, Dropbox Every organization has a system for access control be it spreadsheet, LDAP, IAM, something home grown, or all of the above. Most of these approaches suffer from some combination of hard to use interfaces, incomplete coverage, lack of audit/compliance functionality, and bottlenecks for permission grants. Merou is Dropbox's homegrown, open source authorization service. It man...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • SREcon17 Asia/Australia: Golang's Garbage
    Andrey Sibiryov, Uber In the first part of this talk, we’ll chat about the design of Golang’s Garbage Collector (GC) and the theory behind modern garbage collection in general. We’ll go over common GC traits, such as whether a given GC is exact, generational, compacting and so on, try to figure out each trait’s upsides and downsides and how they relate to the current and future Golang’s GC design...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • SREcon17 Asia/Australia: Distributed Scheduler Hell
    Matthew Campbell, DigitalOcean At DigitalOcean we went through growing pains of trying out 5 of the top major Docker container schedulers, Mesos, Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, Nomad and we even tried manual scheduling of containers. We will walk through how we chose different schedulers for different applications, and tips and tricks for choosing a scheduler to use. Also we will discuss in detail abo...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • SREcon17 Asia/Australia: Capacity Planning and Flow Control
    Jun Zhang, Alibaba; Jiajiang Lin Alibaba has a very rich form of business, behind every business there are many corresponding business systems, each business system is distributed in multiple servers. In such a large distributed system architecture, how to allocate resources to the system becomes a major challenge to site reliability (especially in the dual-11): How much resources do we need to ...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • SREcon17 Asia/Australia: Canary in the Internet Mine
    Brook Shelley, Turbine Labs Software releases are often costly, slow, and difficult to roll back. This talk will suggest a different way forward with a flexible, incremental, reversible release workflow using tools like a reverse-proxy and customer-centric monitoring. I'll also talk about header and cookie based dev branch tests, and ways to use an incremental release to test internally as well. ...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • SREcon17 Asia/Australia: Measuring the Success of Incident Management at Atlassian
    Gerry Millar, Atlassian When an incident happens it's the worst possible time to be bogged down with confusing systems and processes. A well defined Incident Management Process that's light-weight and supported by good automation offers a way to get fast, easy and predictable results during an incident, but if you don't implement the right things in the right way you risk bad results, such as hig...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • SREcon17 Asia/Australia: Testing for DR Failover Testing
    Zehua Liu, Zendesk Disaster Recovery is an important area in SRE. A simplified scenario is recovery from a full data centre failure. The Zendesk Chat backend infrastructure operates in a single data centre. The way to be sure that DR works is to perform a real failover. The past failover attempts were full of surprises and unexpected issues, most of them having to do with the applications failing...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • SREcon17 Asia Australia: Data Checking at Dropbox
    David Mah, Dropbox At Dropbox, we’ve worked incredibly hard to build infrastructure that we are confident in trusting. A major aspect of our confidence comes from the verification of our data at rest, which gives us signal that our data will be properly usable when requests actually come in. In this talk, we’ll break down the thinking about how to design and build a consistency checker system. W...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • SREcon17 Asia/Australia: Focal Impact The Service Pyramid
    Michael Elkin, Facebook The Service Pyramid is a framework based on the hierarchy of of needs - with a service oriented focus. It's used by Production Engineers at Facebook to navigate a sea of tasks and mountains of work by giving clear guidance on what relative priorities different kinds of work get. Using this guidance we can avoid common pitfalls, gauge how mature the reliability of a service...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • SREcon17 Asia/Australia: Graphite@Scale or How to Store Millions of Metrics per Second
    Vladimir Smirnov, System Adminstrator, Booking.com This is a story about dealing with metrics at scale. A lot of metrics. This is our story of the challenges we’ve faced at Booking.com and how we made our Graphite system handle millions of metrics per second. You will learn about one of the most high load Graphite-compatible stacks, the problems it poses and the challenges in maintaining it and...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • SREcon17 Asia/Australia: How Could Small Teams Get Ready for SRE
    Zehua Liu, Zendesk Singapore Site Reliability Engineering encompasses a large area of topics. The SRE book itself contains 34 chapters in 500+ pages. It’s not easy for a small team to start to adopt these SRE practices. At Zendesk Singapore, we went through the initial chaos of engineering and reliability issues when the engineering team grew from 10 to 40 engineers and the product focus shifted ...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • SREcon17 Asia/Australia: LinkedIn SRE From Inception to Global Scale
    Bruno Connelly and Viji Nair, LinkedIn Corporation Will be covering the following objectives: 1. The History of SRE at LinkedIn 2. Problems behind the scenes - Infrastructure / Services / Releases 3. The world before SRE 4. Establishing the SRE culture - Core Principles - SRE Engagement Model - Ownership model and ownership culture - People, the most important assets - Redefining the role & L...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • SREcon17 Asia/Australia: Managing Capacity @ LinkedIn
    Anuprita Harkare, LinkedIn Have you ever struggled with planning and managing your data ingestion platform? And spends countless nights figuring out whether you have enough capacity or over provisioned? Is cost to serve a concern to you? If yes, you are not alone. Linkedin as a platform serves its contents to millions of unique users. This generates huge volume of data from members profiles, con...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • SREcon17 Asia/Australia: InnoDB to MyRocks Migration in Main MySQL Database at Facebook
    Yoshinori Matsunobu, Facebook At Facebook, we open sourced MyRocks—Flash optimized, space and write efficient MySQL database engine. We are in the process of migrating our main MySQL databases—storing Facebook social graphs, massively sharded, low latency and automated services—from InnoDB to MyRocks. We have been very successful so far and have reduced database size by half. Compared to deployi...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • SREcon17 Asia/Australia: A Unit Test Would Have Caught This...
    "A Unit Test Would Have Caught This:" Small, Cheap, and Effective Testing for Production Engineers Andrew Ryan, Facebook Inc. Production Engineers write tons of code for automating and managing distributed systems, ranging from one-off shell scripts to complex frameworks of many thousands of lines. But, in our profession, formal software testing has historically been weak. While there are a wide ...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • LISA16: Zero Trust Networks: Building Systems in Untrusted Networks
    Speaker: Evan Gilman, PagerDuty, Inc. Abstract: Let's face it—the perimeter-based architecture has failed us. Today's attack vectors can easily defeat expensive stateful firewalls and evade IDS systems. Perhaps even worse, perimeters trick people into believing that the network behind it is somehow "safe," despite the fact that chances are overwhelmingly high that at least one device on that netw...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • LISA16: Modern Cryptography Concepts: Hype or Hope
    Speaker: Radia Perlman, Dell EMC Corporation Abstract: There are many topics that get a lot of press, some that are the focus of many academic papers but have not escaped into the popular press, and others that are covered in both. It is important to be able to approach these things with skepticism. Some of the ones in academic literature are so hard to read that even though they might be interes...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • LISA16: Identifying Emergent Behaviors in Complex Systems
    Speaker: Jane Adams, Two Sigma Abstract: Forager ants in the Arizona desert have a problem: after leaving the nest, they don’t return until they’ve found food. On the hottest and driest days, this means many ants will die before finding food, let alone before bringing it back to the nest. Honeybees also have a problem: even small deviations from 35ºC in the brood nest can lead to brood death, mal...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • LISA16: Traps and Cookies: A Mystery Package from Your Former Self
    Speaker: Tanya Reilly, Google Abstract: Does your production environment expect perfect humans? Does technical debt turn your small changes into minefields? This talk highlights tools, code, configuration, and documentation that set us up for disaster. It discusses commons traps that we can disarm and remove, instead of spending precious brain cycles avoiding them. And it offers practical advice ...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • LISA16: Passing the Console: Fostering the Next Generation of Ops Professionals
    Speaker: Alice Goldfuss Abstract: Where does one go to learn ops? There are no sysadmin degrees or operations bootcamps. We learn our trade like dark witches, through varied and arcane means: books, talks, hands-on experiences, real-life outages, and backchannel lore. But tech is a thriving industry, ripe for eager new ops professionals and ideas. You have very likely met the person or people who...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • LISA16: Linux 4.X Tracing Tools: Using BPF Superpowers
    Speaker: Brendan Gregg, Netflix Abstract: The Linux 4.x series heralds a new era of Linux performance analysis, with the long-awaited integration of a programmable tracer: BPF. Formally the Berkeley Packet Filter, BPF has been enhanced in Linux to provide system tracing capabilities, and integrates with dynamic tracing (kprobes and uprobes) and static tracing (tracepoints and USDT). This has allo...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
Blog Article

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  • SREcon17 Americas Program Selection Process
    The following post has been collaboratively written by the co-chairs for the SREcon17 Americas conference (Liz Fong-Jones and Kurt Andersen) and several of the program committee members (Murali Suriar and Betsy Beyer). It is intended to provide greater insight into the selection process which we used for this conference and may not entirely match the strategies which other conference committees em...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • Why Enigma?
    Join a diverse mix of experts and enthusiasts from industry, academia, and government at Enigma 2017 on January 30–February 1, 2017 at the Oakland Marriott in Oakland, CA. Register today at https://enigma.usenix.org. Our focus is on current and emerging threats and defenses in the growing intersection of society and technology. Our goal is to foster an intelligent and informed conversation with t...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • LISA Conversations with Russell Pavlicek
    We spoke with Russell Pavlicek about the updates to his LISA15 talk “The Next Generation Cloud: Unleashing the Power of the Unikernel." Watch the original video here: https://www.usenix.org/conference/lisa15/conference-program/presentation/pavlicek
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • LISA Conversations: Clay Caviness and Edward Eigerman
    On May 31, 2016, we talked to Clay Caviness and Edward Eigerman of Google to review developments since Clay's LISA '13 talk, “Managing Macs at Google Scale." Watch the original video here: https://www.usenix.org/conference/lisa13/managing-macs-google-scale
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • SREcon16 - Building Reliable Social Infrastructure for Google
    Marc Alvidrez, Google If you were evaluating a system design for anti-patterns, you might look for the following characteristics: significant amounts of global, mutable data with a very high update rate requiring ACID semantics serve application data with no natural sharding (i.e. partitioning) dimension data storage-level hot-spotting interactive latency requirements for a global base of users ...
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • SREcon16 - The Art of Performance Monitoring
    Brian Smith, Facebook In this talk, we share our experience monitoring production performance for Facebook and the services that back the site. We will go over what makes performance monitoring effective and how to produce more useful results. You will learn how to think about monitoring holistically during the design and development of new services and applications.
USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • SREcon16 - The Evolution of Global Traffic Routing and Failover
    Aaron Heady, Microsoft Traffic routing and failover strategies grow with the complexity of your service offering, and sometimes seemingly simple design choices of your services can dramatically impact what routing strategies you can use. Are all of your datacenters 100% identical, all data/services available everywhere? Do you have anything that requires affinity to a DC between multiple calls? W...

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