Gopalan Sivathanu
  Ph.D.,  State University of New York at Stony Brook
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I graduated with a Ph.D from the Computer Science Department of Stony Brook University, in the year 2008.  A copy of my dissertation on "End-to-End Abstractions for Application-Aware Storage" is available here.

My dissertation has also been published as a book - ISBN: 1243549998.

During my PhD, I worked in the File systems and Storage Research Lab, under the guidance of Prof. Erez Zadok.

I now work at Google.  After a seven year stint in the United States, I have now permanently returned back to India.



Research

My research interests revolve around the general area of "systems" with focus on storage systems, operating systems, and systems security.

Dissertation Research
Innovation in file systems and storage has been limited by narrow interfaces between the applications and the storage hardware. My dissertation research explores minimal, flexible, and generic abstractions to communicate a wide variety of information end-to-end across the application I/O stack. While most research in the past have explored tailored interfaces to enable specific pieces of functionality, my research looks at generic abstractions which are agnostic to usage scenarios. The first abstraction I evolved is the notion of type-awareness in the storage stack. In type-aware storage, lower layers of the storage stack such as the disk are aware of the pointer relationships between disk blocks that are imposed by higher layers such as the file system, thereby enabling useful functionality at the disk-level. In the second abstraction, I explored a generic mechanism to propagate information end-to-end through the storage stack. By decoupling the generation of information from how the information is used, my approach provides a simple, yet effective mechanism to encode the notion of a logical application's activities and propagate it as part of an I/O operation.



Refereed Publications

Conference Publications

Selective Versioning in a Secure Disk System. Swaminathan Sundararaman, Gopalan Sivathanu, and Erez Zadok. Proceedings of the 17th USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security '08) PDF

Type-Safe Disks. Gopalan Sivathanu, Swaminathan Sundararaman, and Erez Zadok. Proceedings of the 7th Usenix Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI '06) PDF

Discriminating Hierarchical Storage Chaitanya Yamamanchili, Gopalan Sivathanu, Kiron Vijayasankar, and Erez Zadok. Proceedings of the Israeli Experimental Systems Conference (ACM SYSTOR 2009) PDF

Rapid File System Development using Ptrace Richard P. Spillane, Charles P. Wright, Gopalan Sivathanu, and Erez Zadok. Proceedings of the 2007 workshop on Experimental Computer Science, San Diego, California PDF

Exploiting Type-Awareness in a Self-Recovering Disk. Kiron Vijayasankar, Gopalan Sivathanu, Swaminathan Sundararaman, and Erez Zadok. Proceedings of the 3rd ACM International Workshop on Storage Security and Survivability (StorageSS 2007) held in conjunction with the 14th ACM CCS. PDF

Ensuring Data Integrity in Storage: Techniques and Applications. Gopalan Sivathanu, Charles Wright, and Erez Zadok. Proceedings of the first ACM International Workshop on Storage Security and Survivability (StorageSS 05), held in conjunction with the 12th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS 2005) PDF

Kefence: An Electric Fence for Kernel Buffers. Nikolai Joukov, Aditya Kashyap, Gopalan Sivathanu, and Erez Zadok. Proceeedings of the first ACM International Workshop on Storage Security and Survivability (StorageSS 05), held in conjunction with the 12th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS 2005) PDF

SMaestro: Performance Aware Storage Infrastructure Planner. Dakshi Agrawal, Stefan Jaquet, Madhukar Korupolu, Kang-won Lee, Kostas Magoutis,Ramani Routray, Gauri Shah, Gopalan Sivathanu, Brian Smith, Chung-hao Tan, Sandeep Uttamchandani, Norbert Vogl, Kaladhar Voruganti, Li Yin, Omer Zaki. Proceedings of the Academy Of Technology Performance Engineering Best Practices Topical Conference VI, 2005, IBM Toronto Lab, Toronto, Canada

Efficient and Safe Execution of User-level Code in the Kernel. Erez Zadok, Sean Callanan, Abhishek Rai, Gopalan Sivathanu, and Avishay Traeger. Proceedings of the 2005 NSF Next Generation Software Workshop in conjunction with the 2005 Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS 2005) PDF

I3FS: An In-kernel Integrity Checker and Intrusion detection File System. Swapnil Patil, Anand Kashyap, Gopalan Sivathanu, and Erez Zadok. Proceedings of the 18th Usenix Large Installation Systems Administration Conference (LISA '04) PDF

Journal Publications

Extending ACID Semantics to the File System. Charles Wright, Richard Spillane, Gopalan Sivathanu, and Erez Zadok. May 2007 issue of the ACM Transactions on Storage (TOS). PDF

On Incremental File System Development. Erez Zadok, Rakesh Iyer, Nikolai Joukov, Gopalan Sivathanu, and Charles Wright. May 2006 issue of the ACM Transactions on Storage (TOS). PDF

Selected Technical Reports

Context-Aware I/O: Exploiting Application Context in the Storage Stack. Gopalan Sivathanu, Swaminathan Sundararaman, Kiron Vijayasankar, Chaitanya Yalamanchili, and Erez Zadok. Technical Report, 2007. PDF

Automatic Consistency for Disk Storage. Gopalan Sivathanu, Swaminathan Sundararaman, and Erez Zadok. Technical Report, 2007. PDF



Internships

Google, Inc., Mountain View (Infrastructure Group)
[June to August 2007]
(Details Confidential)

VMWare, Inc., Palo Alto (Performance Group)
[June to August 2006]
Evolved an infrastructure using which a virtual machine host kernel can obtain semantic information about file systems running on the guest operating system through an explicit communication interface. This infrastructure was used to develop a secure storage mechanism that can protect local storage even in the event of guest operating system compromises. (Details Confidential)

IBM Research, Almaden (Advanced Virtual Storage Systems Group)
[June to August 2005]
Designed and implemented a storage provisioning tool that uses an adaptive algorithm to perform efficient resource allocation in large scale storage systems. (Details Confidential)


Technical Talks

February 2008, End-to-End Abstractions for Application-Aware Storage. Ph.D thesis defense talk, Stony Brook University, NY.

November 2006, Type-Safe Disks. OSDI 2006, Seattle, WA.

August 2006, Exploiting Guest File System Semantics at the VMM. Intern Talk, VMware Inc, Palo Alto, CA.

November 2005, Ensuring Data Integrity in Storage: Techniques and Applications. ACM StorageSS '05, Fairfax, VA.

August 2005, Adaptive Storage Provisioning in Enterprise Class Storage Systems. Intern Talk, IBM Research, Almaden, CA.

May 2005, Ensuring Data Integrity in Storage: Techniques and Applications. RPE Talk, Stony Brook University.

November 2004, An In-kernel Integrity Checker and Intrusion Detection File System. Usenix LISA '04, Atlanta, GA.


Awards and Distinctions
  • Best Short Paper Award in ACM StorageSS 2005.
  • Best Teaching Assistant Award, Stony Brook University, 2004.
  • Awarded University Fellowship by Stony Brook University during the year 2003.


Teaching

I have acted as a Teaching Assistant for the undergraduate and graduate level Operating Systems courses in Stony Brook University. I won the Best Teaching Assistant Award for the academic year 2003-2004, in the CS department of Stony Brook University.



Other Activities

About me

I am originally from Chennai aka Madras, a city in south India. I got my B.E in Computer Science and Engineering in the year 2002. After a one year stint at a small startup software company in Chennai, I joined Stony Brook University, New York, where I obtained my M.S and Ph.D in computer science. I now work at Google.

After a seven year stint in the US, I have now permanently returned to my home country.

You can visit my blog here


Home | Research | Publications | Internships | Talks | Awards | Teaching | About me | Blog | Contact | Links | PGP Key
Gopalan Sivathanu

"God is Honesty and Justice"

- My father


"Divine blessings, Conscionableness, and Timely Action, are prerequisites for success"

- My father


"Almost all difficulties in one's life are caused by unreasonable desire, or unreasonable fear, or both."

- My father


"If money helps a man to do good to others, it is of some value; but if not, it is simply a mass of evil, and the sooner it is got rid of, the better."

- Swami Vivekananda


"Fear is death, fear is sin, fear is hell, fear is unrighteousness, fear is wrong life. All the negative thoughts and ideas that are in the world have proceeded from this evil spirit of fear"

- Swami Vivekananda


"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

- Edmund Burke


"Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves."

- Confucius


"Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others"

- Aristotle


"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear."

- Ambrose Redmoon


"Courage without compassion leads to cruelty"

- Lord Sri Ram


"All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on."

- Henry Ellis


"Every hardship that doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger"

- Friedrich Nietzsche


"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident"

- Arthur Schopenhauer


"The mind is fickle; it is in fact villainous, it won't obey you. Know therefore that you should be in the driver seat of this vehicle, that is the body-mind-intellect. Every time the mind misbehaves, bring it back to the equanimous position by using your discretionary intellect. You have to do this constantly and continuously. Never chicken out. You may have to carry on this struggle life after life until you succeed. You will succeed, if you have My Grace"

- Lord Sri Krishna