AtLarge Vision on the Design of Distributed Systems and Ecosystems

IEEE ICDCS 2019, Dallas, TX, USA

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High-quality designs of distributed systems and services are essential for our digital economy and society. Threatening to slow down the stream of working designs, we identify the mounting pressure of scale and complexity of (eco-)system, of ill-defined and wicked problems, and of unclear processes, methods, and tools. We envision design itself as a core research topic in distributed systems, to understand and improve the science and practice of distributed (eco-)system design. Toward this vision, we propose the ATLARGE design framework, accompanied by a set of 8 core design principles. We also propose 10 key challenges, which we hope the community can address in the following 5 years. In our experience so far, the proposed framework and principles are practical, and lead to pragmatic and innovative designs for large-scale distributed systems.