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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  • Daniel Barker, DST Systems @barkerd427 A core part of our IT transformation program is the implementation of deployment pipelines for every application. Attendees will learn how to build abstract pipelines that will allow multiple types of applications to fit the same basic pipeline structure. This has been a big win for injecting change and updating legacy applications. View the full LISA17 pro...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • James Whitehead II, Chief Scientist, Formularity This presentation will explain how two simple, decades-old computer paradigms can be combined and used to build the world’s largest and most resilient computing solutions. Real world examples will be shown. In 1974, Carl Hewitt published his paper on the Actor model. In computing, an Actor is a computer program that uses information fed to it thro...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • Trevor Vaughan, VP Engineering - Onyx Point, Inc. @onyxpoint A mere mention of compliance is one of those things that makes most teams throw up their hands in frustration. We would like to share how our Government and Industry customers have successfully approached Compliance Driven Operations and how to use standard development and engineering methodologies to address compliance concerns in a pr...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • Mike Svoboda, LinkedIn, and Nils Christian Roscher-Nielsen, Zener Distributed Firewall (DFW) has fundamentally altered LinkedIn's System, Network, and Security Operations. This technology has enabled LinkedIn to expand with unbound horizontal scalability by leveraging Software Defined Networking. Combining system automation with host based firewalls, DFW has not only allowed LinkedIn to alter the...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • Mohit Suley, Microsoft @mohitsuley Engineers are well-tuned with debugging issues on a single machine. However, when the architecture scales out to possibly hundreds or thousands of machines with components 10+ layers deep, debugging doesn't look the same anymore. The concept of looking at logs becomes 'collective' in nature and looking for patterns in logs is the only viable way of associating t...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
YouTube Video
  • Rock Stevens, University of Maryland @ada95ftw No organization is immune to data breaches, insider threats, and other cyber attacks. An unprepared organization can exacerbate the impact of these threats, leading to a loss of consumer trust and confidence. In this talk, I propose a radically new training method for preparedness that fuses together concepts like the Netflix “Chaos Monkey” with U.S...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • Niall Sheridan, Intercom Everyone uses SSH to manage their production infrastructure, but it's really difficult to do a good job of managing SSH keys. Many organisations don't know how many SSH keys have access to production systems or how protected those keys are. A trusted SSH private key can be years old, unprotected by passphrase, and shared among multiple people who may not even work for you...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • Suchakrapani Sharma, ShiftLeft Inc. @tuxology Command line tools ensure lowest friction and entry bar for system analysis. However, visual analysis yields more information in a shorter amount of time. As an example, when an application crashes or an elusive transient bug occurs, understanding of callstack that led to the anomaly is a valuable information. Recording such function call graphs of th...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
YouTube Video
  • Baron Schwartz, VividCortex @xaprb Do you know what scalability really is? It's a mathematical function that's simple, precise, and useful. REALLY useful. It describes the relationship between system performance and load. In this talk you'll learn the function (the Universal Scalability Law), how it describes and predicts system behavior you see every day, and how to use it in practice. I'll sho...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • Nina Schiff, Facebook At Facebook, we’ve traditionally focused on disaggregation through most of our systems. This has helped us to iterate faster, harden where needed and scale out our bottlenecks more easily. However, in the network, we have had very little control over the switching ecosystem, making us reliant on the timelines of other companies. Adaptability and customization are not typical...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • Tanya Reilly, Google @whereistanya Most of us have a backup strategy and many of us have a restore strategy and several of us have a fully tested restore strategy. But backups are far from the whole story! This talk covers the parts of disaster recovery you might be less prepared for, and the dependencies that you might not think about until one day when you really do turn an entire service, ent...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • Corey Quinn, Last Week in AWS @Quinnypig Thought Leaders. DevOps Heroes. Public Speakers. We listen to them as they talk about their solutions, their approaches, and their inevitable triumphs. But are we starting down a dark path, as we forget that 'what makes a great talk' and 'what makes sense for your environment' may not be the same thing? In this entertaining and slightly irreverent talk, th...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • Matt Provost, Yelp The NHS is the United Kingdom's National Health Service, established in 1948 to provide free healthcare at point of service to all 64.6 million UK residents. In England's National Health Service (NHS), a Never Event is a serious incident that "arise[s] from [the] failure of strong systemic protective barriers which can be defined as successful, reliable and comprehensive safe...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • Brian Pitts, Eventbrite @sciurus At Eventbrite, engineers are tasked with building systems that can withstand dramatic spikes in load when popular events go on sale. There are patterns that help us do this: Bulkheads: partitioning systems to prevent cascading failures Canary testing: Slowly rolling out new code Graceful degradation: turning functionality on and off in response to failures or loa...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • Jake Pittis, Shopify Fibers get cut, databases crash, and you’ve adopted Chaos Engineering to challenge your production environment as much as possible. But what are you doing to craft the resiliency test suites that minimizes the impact of your application as much as possible? How do you debug resiliency problems locally, and make sure to architect for robustness as development-time? Toxiproxy ...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • When you attend a talk that starts with a Google engineer asking, “What would happen if all of the machines you are running on restarted right now?” you might get really worried. Think about the Google services we use on a daily basis and what would happen if they suddenly stopped working—Google Maps, for example. Hopefully, we’d be able to get home from the office, but if we were travelling or lo...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • What makes a good conference so special? With vast amounts of information available virtually on any topic imaginable at a click’s distance, would it not be more efficient to spend time in comfortable home setting learning new technology?

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • I’ve taken a lot of classes in my several years attending LISA, and over that time, I’ve gotten to see a lot of different teaching styles and techniques. My least favorite style (and probably yours, too) is a strict lecture, where the instructor occasionally flips through slides, but mostly reads from notes, and has no engagement, no interaction, and no interest in whether the people in attendance...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
Blog Post
  • I write this while looking out over Treasure Island and the beautiful San Francisco Bay that surrounds it. Off in the distance, a veritable armada of ships hauls millions of containers under the Bay Bridge, into and out of the Port of Oakland. It is not lost on me that I’m watching the physical manifestation of the classes I’ve been going to for the past couple of days: the literal orchestration ...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • It’s 2017. Containers are “a thing.” For real. A few years ago, we were kind of wondering if they were, or if they were just a passing fad. Those of us who were busy Getting Things Done(™) don’t have time for all of the fly-by-night technologies that show up on HackerNews for a week, only to fall by the wayside. That’s the cheap excuse I’m using to justify my lack of experience with Docker, Kubern...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
Blog Post
  • I’ve been coming to LISA since 2009, and I’ve always wondered why the official conference opening was on Wednesday, when the party really starts on the Saturday prior. This year’s LISA in San Francisco is no different.  

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
Blog Post
  • I’m a fan of documentation. I have been, ever since I first inherited an infrastructure and had to try to figure out what the previous admin had done. I try to write decent documentation—documentation that I wish had been was there when I first tried to learn about a particular system. I also find myself doing so much that what I can keep in cache in my brain is limited, and stuff I’ve worked on t...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
Blog Post
  • Working in IT operations these days can be challenging as it seems like there’s an ever-increasing curve in terms of the knowledge you need to have. Fortunately, there are tools that help simplify what we need to do. Rather than constantly observe workloads and manually respond by building the services we think we'll need, pretty much all production-ready cloud providers and services offer autosca...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
YouTube Video
  • 6 Ways a Culture of Communication Strengthens Your Team’s Resiliency Jaime Woo, Shopify Dynamic Documentation in 5 minutes Daniel Lawrence, LinkedIn Resource management and isolation, the non-shiny way Luiz Viana, Demonware Collecting metrics with Snap - the open telemetry framework Guy Fighel, SignifAI Decentralized Data Jason Koppe, Indeed Failovers Emil Stolarsky, Production Engineer, Sh...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
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  • Yoav Cohen, Imperva Incapsula Last year, on March 10, Incapsula experienced the first worldwide outage in its history… While relatively short in duration, it affected thousands of websites that rely on our security and acceleration every day. Rooted in a 3-year old dormant bug in our IncapRules code, this outage made us realize there were changes we needed to make in the way we write and qualify...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
YouTube Video
  • Narayan Desai, Google As SRE enters the ops zeitgeist, much of the focus has been placed on tactics—techniques that individual operations teams can adopt to improve their effectiveness. While there is value in singleton adoption, I'll make the case in this talk that organizational support and culture across the organization that corresponds with these tactics results in impact far greater than th...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
YouTube Video
  • Peter Bourgon, Fastly This talk explores the motivation, design, prototype, and optimization of OK Log, a distributed and coördination-free log system for big ol' (cloud-native) clusters. We first motivate the need for a such a system, setting it apart from existing products like Elasticsearch. Then, we carve out a solution in the distributed systems space, paying due homage to the old gremlins ...

USENIX Association
USENIX Association
YouTube Video
  • Matt Bostock, Cloudflare Cloudflare operates a global anycast edge network serving content for 6 million web sites. This talk explains how we monitor our network, how we migrated from Nagios to Prometheus and the architecture we chose to provide maximum reliability for monitoring. We'll also discuss the impact of alert fatigue and how we reduced alert noise by analysing data, making alerts more a...

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