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IBM R&D Labs in Israel News

All Systems Go

SYSTOR 2010 examines systems and storage issues

  Yaron Wolfsthal, David Kaeli, and
  Dagan Gilat
For years, the cure-all for increasing computing power on systems has been miniaturization. Processors have gotten increasingly smaller while growing in capacity. But the limits of that approach are being reached, and systems researchers around the world are looking for solutions.

One of the most promising areas of investigation for increased CPU capacity is multi-core architecture. At the recent SYSTOR 2010 conference in Haifa, Professor David Kaeli presented some of the most intriguing work being done in this domain – the conversion of graphical processing units (GPUs), originally developed for gaming and image-rendering calculations, for general computing tasks.

The keynote lecturer on Day 1 of SYSTOR, Kaeli explained that more and more general-purpose graphical processing units, known as GPGPUs, are coming out of gaming machines and into industrial applications.

"Work on GPGPUs is becoming mainstream research, and research activities are expanding significantly," said the Northeastern University professor of electrical and computer engineering. As CPUs continue to struggle with a number of limiting factors and constraints, GPGPUs and other multi-core architectures are stepping up to address the evolving computing challenges of tomorrow.

Hot topics of systems research

  Ethan Miller and Gadi Haber
More than 100 systems and storage developers and researchers gathered recently at the IBM Research Lab on the campus of the University of Haifa to hear Kaeli and other speakers at SYSTOR 2010, the annual three-day experimental systems conference organized by IBM Haifa. The conference focused on a number of systems and storage research areas, such as virtualization, cloud computing, workload-driven optimizations. Along with IBM, the event was co-sponsored by HP, the University of Haifa's Caesarea Rothschild Institute, and NetApp.

According to Gadi Haber, the IBM researcher who served as the SYSTOR 2010 general chair, this year's event was upgraded from previous years to enhance the event's quality and attract more participants.

"This year's talks were really high quality presentations on several of the hottest topics in systems research," he noted. "An expanded program committee led to a tougher review process, which resulted in truly top-notch papers. I really believe SYSTOR is on the way to becoming one of the leading conferences in this domain."

Advanced collaboration opportunities in Haifa

  At the SYSTOR 2010 poster session

Despite the current economic climate, global industry continues to strive for improved technologies for data storage and systems management. SYSTOR's focus on these issues, IBM's marked expertise in these areas, an invited talk from Prof. Erez Zadok of Stony Brook University, and top-level keynotes from experts such as Kaeli, Idit Keidar of the Technion, and Mary G. Baker from HP proved to be a real attraction to the many conference participants who came to the Research Lab in Haifa.

Despite the many serious discussions and presentations, which also included an invited talk, a poster session, and panel on cloud computing, SYSTOR participants remembered to have some fun as well. The conference program included a tour of the University of Haifa's Hecht Museum, a visit to the top-floor observatory of the university's Eshkol Tower, and an evening excursion to the old city of Nazareth that culminated with a sea-side dinner and a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.

"SYSTOR is developing into an increasingly significant conference," summed up Haber, pointing to the internationally renowned keynote presenters and the cooperation with ACM on publishing the conference proceedings. "As the quality of our keynotes and accepted talks improve from year to year, we look forward to future conferences as opportunities for advanced learning, collaboration, and community building."

SYSTOR abstracts and presentations can be viewed on the conference web site.

Deep dive into systems

Want to learn more about the SYSTOR 2010 invited talks? Click the links below to download the keynotes and invited talk.

  SYSTOR album on Facebook

Previous conferences in Haifa

SYSTOR 2010 is the most recent in a line of systems and storage conferences in Haifa. Click the links below to learn more about previous IBM Research - Haifa seminars in these domains.