An evolutionary study of configuration design and implementation in cloud systems

Yuanliang Zhang, Haochen He, Owolabi Legunsen, Shanshan Li, Wei Dong, Tianyin Xu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Many techniques were proposed for detecting software misconfigurations in cloud systems and for diagnosing unintended behavior caused by such misconfigurations. Detection and diagnosis are steps in the right direction: misconfigurations cause many costly failures and severe performance issues. But, we argue that continued focus on detection and diagnosis is symptomatic of a more serious problem: configuration design and implementation are not yet first-class software engineering endeavors in cloud systems. Little is known about how and why developers evolve configuration design and implementation, and the challenges that they face in doing so. This paper presents a source-code level study of the evolution of configuration design and implementation in cloud systems. Our goal is to understand the rationale and developer practices for revising initial configuration design/implementation decisions, especially in response to consequences of misconfigurations. To this end, we studied 1178 configuration-related commits from a 2.5 year version-control history of four large-scale, actively-maintained open-source cloud systems (HDFS, HBase, Spark, and Cassandra). We derive new insights into the software configuration engineering process. Our results motivate new techniques for proactively reducing misconfigurations by improving the configuration design and implementation process in cloud systems. We highlight a number of future research directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2021 IEEE/ACM 43rd International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2021
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages188-200
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780738113197
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021
Event43rd IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2021 - Virtual, Online, Spain
Duration: May 22 2021May 30 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering
ISSN (Print)0270-5257

Conference

Conference43rd IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2021
Country/TerritorySpain
CityVirtual, Online
Period5/22/215/30/21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'An evolutionary study of configuration design and implementation in cloud systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this