Does Scale Really Matter? Ultra-Large-Scale Systems Seven Years After the Study
Carnegie Mellon University and IEEE
This keynote was presented at the 35th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2013) and was published by IEEE Computer Society Press.
In 2006, Ultra-Large-Scale Systems: The Software Challenge of the Future (ISBN 0-9786956-0-7) documented the results of a year-long study on ultra-large, complex, distributed systems. Ultra-large-scale (ULS) systems are socio-technical ecosystems of ultra-large size on one or many dimensions: number of lines of code; number of people employing the system for different purposes; amount of data stored, accessed, manipulated, and refined; number of connections and interdependencies among software components; number of hardware elements to which they interface. The characteristics of such systems require changes in traditional software development and management practices, which in turn require a new multi-disciplinary perspective and research. A carefully prescribed research agenda was suggested. What has happened since the study results were published? This talk shares a perspective on the post study reality—a perspective based on research motivated by the study and direct experiences with ULS systems.