I received my Ph.D. at Berkeley under Prof. Eugene Wong in 1980,
working on database design and translation within the Ingres Relational Database
project. I had the good fortune to have also worked one summer with the System-R
Relational Database Group at IBM's San Jose Research Laboratory, so I was
located in the center of the relational database design and implementation
I spent one year working at BBN, working with the legendary Dave Walden
and John McQuillan (inventors of the original Internet routing algorithms), and at Computer
Corporation of America in Cambridge, MA, a leading database research center at that time.
In 1981, I moved to the University of
Wisconsin-Madison, where I shifted my interests into VLSI and CAD, in
particular, database support for VLSI CAD environments. An opportunity presented
itself to return to Berkeley in 1983, which I accepted gladly, selling my snow
tires. Since that time, my research and teaching interests have focused on a series of
projects spanning the design, engineering, and implementation of a variety of advanced computing
systems spanning hardware and software.
Research Projects at Berkeley
- SPUR Project: In 1984 I switched from CAD to processor
and memory system
design. Between 1985 and 1989, I led the design of the distributed cache and
virtual memory organization of the SPUR multiprocessor project. We invented the
term "snooping caches" (also known as "snoopy" caches), and implemented one of
the first invalidation protocols. The overall SPUR project was led by Dave
Patterson, and involved Richard Fateman, Paul Hilfinger, Dave Hodges, and John
Ousterhout. Snooping cache schemes are used in many multiprocessor servers on
the market today.
- RAID Project: In 1986, I had an idea for building high
systems by ganging together a large number of small formfactor disk drives, much
like the processors in a multiprocessor. Between 1987 and 1992, I led the design
and implementation of the Berkeley RAID (Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks)
high performance storage system (we coined the term "RAID"). This work was done
in overall collaboration with Dave Patterson and John Ousterhout. Click here for a picture of
"RAID the First" and here for a picture of
"RAID the Second," which is now on exhibit at the
Computer History Museum in
Mountain View, California. This is the innovative
"shelves of disks" that gave us such incredible MBytes per square foot for its
time (72 3.5" disks in a 19" rack). This multibillion dollar per year industry
all started with a simple idea in Berkeley in 1986! Too bad I didn't get any
- Wiring the White House: After the elections of 1992, I took a leave during 1993-1994 at
the Computing Systems Technology Office (now "Information Technology Office") of
the Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency. I started as a program manager and ended as an office deputy
director. Along the way, I was responsible for establishing whitehouse.gov and
the president and vice.president Internet mail accounts, I participated on Vice
President Gore's National
Performance Review, and played a lead role in formulating the Federal HPCC program's Information
Infrastructure Technology and Applications research program in support of the
Information Infrastructure Initiative.
To see a photograph of me with President Clinton and Vice
President Gore, click here.
To see the letter written to me by Vice President Gore, click
here for plain
text, and here
for a scan of the letter.
To read about my Washington experiences, see
Katz WENT to Washington.
- Bay Area Research Wireless Access Network: When I came back from Washington in
1995, I began working on Mobile Computing and Wireless Communications. With
Prof. Eric Brewer, we focused on issues of wireless/wireline network
integration, internetwork operation, and end-to-end quality of service
guarantees in the context of a local-area wireless testbed in Soda Hall and a
wide-area testbed located in the San Francisco Bay Area. This effort was called
the Daedalus Project. The
combined in-building, metropolitan-area, and wide-area testbed was called BARWAN
(Bay Area Research Wireless Access Network). This work was supported by the
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency under its GloMo Program, as well as numerous
industrial sponsors. Major developments included low latency handoffs for
real-time streams, intelligent vertical handoffs between overlay networks,
improved transport layer performance over wireless and asymmetric links, and
proxies for intelligent data adaptation for web data types and real-time
streams. This project reached its successful conclusion in August
- MASH: This was led by Steve McCanne and myself between 1997
and 2000, once again
under DARPA sponsorship, to scale up the audio, video, and whiteboard tools that
Steve had developed as part of his dissertation. My interest focused on video
archiving and building subscription-based applications within the multicast
framework developed by Steve. Prof. Larry Rowe subsequently created the
Open Mash organization to further develop the
software as part of his interest in webcasting.
- NINJA: At the same time that MASH was going on, I worked
with Eric Brewer, David Culler, and Anthony Joseph on a new network service architecture
called NINJA. As a cluster-based scalable execution and service environment, it unified
Culler's work on server farms (NOW), with Brewer and Joseph's
interests in distributed systems, with my own interest in network support for services.
- ICEBERG: Following the success of BARWAN, Anthony Joseph and I
began a close
collaboration with Ericsson to investigate the architecture of "Beyond Third Generation
Telecommunications Systems." ICEBERG developed a
wide-area service creation and management environment for computer-telephony
integration, merging ideas from NINJA and BARWAN. It ran from 1998 to 2001,
unfortunately coinciding with the Internet and telecommunications boom and bust.
- SAHARA: The impact of ICEBERG was limited in that it required
universal deployment of the architecture to effectively support new kinds of telecomms
services. This observation was the seed for
SAHARA, an "interoperability" architecture that formed a new kind of service glue
different kinds of edge networks together. The project received support from several
telecomms equipment companies and service providers between 2001 and 2004.
- ENDEAVOUR: Overlapped with ICEBERG and SAHARA was
broad research investigation into future computing architecture based on
harnessing the extremes spanning from MEMS to large-scale cluster machines
distributed across the world. The project was one of the four DARPA "Expeditions"
contracts. The common theme across the diverse projects within Endeavour was the
development of a reliable, scalable, composible, wide-area service architecture
to support diverse access networks, end devices, and services that can operate
on a global-scale. Endeavour involved over a dozen Berkeley faculty and three
dozen graduate students, and laid the foundation for many follow-on projects,
including OceanStore, Telegraph, and SensorNets.
- OASIS: I have recently gotten interested in developing network
elements that can inspect and act upon flows inside the network, particularly
to protect the network in the face of intrusions, failures, or overload. Routers are
becoming ever more capable in terms of deep packet classification, even at gigabit speeds,
yet little is understood about how to make use of this ability to comprehensively observe
and manage the network. OASIS started in 2004
as the logical follow on of SAHARA.
- RADLab: RADLab is newly
industry funded project (Google, Microsoft, and Sun) investigating the architectures needed
to develop, deploy, and manage the next class of Internet-scale applications. It is a
collaboration between Armando Fox, Mike Jordan, Dave Patterson, Scott Shenker, Ion Stoica,
and myself. Statistical learning, how to implement it and exploit it in a systems context,
is a major theme of this project. We plan to use statistical learning approaches, based
on observations at the network layer, with extensive cross-layer interactions, to form the
basis of our approach to pervasive network management and protection.
Other Career Highlights
In 1992, I received the Distinguished Teaching Award of the
Berkeley Academic Senate.
In 1996, I was elected a Fellow of the ACM and a Fellow of the
IEEE. In that year, I became the first Computer Scientist to be the Chair of the
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and was appointed the
inagural holder of the United Microelectronics
Corporation Distinguished Professorship. I was Department Chair from 1996 to
21 April 1997, listed me among the 100 Americans for the Next Century. To
quote Newsweek, "This is not a list of the great and powerful, or the beautiful
and celebritous. Our object has been to take a snapshot of the future, framing
some of the personalities whose creativity or talent or brains or leadership
will make a difference in the years ahead." Page 34, "This
Berkeley prof got Clinton and Gore on the Web. In 2000 his name may pop up on
Gore's transition list" (it didn't!).
Our work in the 1980s on RAID has received alot of recognition
recently, including an ACM SIGMOD "Test of Time" Paper in 1998 and the IEEE
Johnson Information Storage Award in 1999. My educational efforts have also been
recognized, with the ASEE Terman Award and the ACM Karlstrom Award in 1999. I
was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2000.
Last updated: 27 December 2005, Randy H. Katz, randy@cs.Berkeley.edu