October 27, 2019

Facebook launches distributed systems research awards at SOSP 2019

By: Meta Research

Modern data centers operate with hundreds of software systems, running in millions of containers, serving billions of requests per second [Hahn LISA’18]. At such a large scale, high operational flexibility, debuggability, and high reliability are paramount.

At Facebook, we are performing forward-looking research into the area of distributed systems, applying key techniques from the field at Facebook’s scale and sharing our designs, implementations, insights, and data with the community.

To understand the future challenges that have yet to emerge, it is important that Facebook build a strong collaboration pipeline with key experts in academia. Therefore, Facebook is pleased to invite faculty and graduate students to respond to this year’s call for research proposals pertaining to distributed systems.

While all proposals are welcome, we are particularly interested in proposals that address fundamental challenges that arise in distributed systems operating at an extremely large scale. Example topics include:

  • Distributed performance tracing and analysis
  • Efficient shard mapping and placement (on the order of billions of shards)
  • Request load balancing (e.g., for HTTP and RPC traffic)
  • Fault tolerance (with a focus on power and network fault domains)
  • Large-scale configuration management, monitoring, and deployment
  • Efficient use of hardware resources via software codesign

We anticipate granting eight awards, each in the $50,000 range. In addition, winners will be invited to a Facebook event at one of our data centers for a tour and summit discussing the winning proposals and an opportunity for networking with Facebook engineers.

Visit the distributed systems research awards page to apply and for information about eligibility, timing and dates, and what proposals should include. The application deadline is December 7, 2019.

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