March Meeting details
Speaker: Keith Lowery
Senior Fellow, Advanced Micro Devices
Topic: Avoiding Superstitious Architectures – Truth as a Foundation for Information Security.
Date: March 15, 2013
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. with introductions beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Venue: Microsoft Technology Center at Quarry Oaks 2.
Address: 10900 Stonelake Blvd. Suite 225. Austin, TX 78759
Detailed visibility on the behavior of distributed systems is notoriously hard to come by, and there is a great operational temptation to make decisions based on a superstitious explanation for what’s going wrong. The adoption of service-oriented-architectures for web-scale computing, while clearly desirable, yet introduces substantial security and operational complexity. In this presentation, Keith shares a number of true-life experiences and lessons learned regarding the criticality of humility as precondition for having the motivation to do the hard work of analyzing the behavior of scale-out systems. Keith shows how a lack of humility regarding our own comprehension of complex systems can result in the compromise of user privacy and even the unnecessary expenditure of funds.
When Jesus said “I am the truth”, He was, among other things, laying claim to being the lens through which everything about the world and our lives should be understood. The Bible describes Jesus as the explanation, purpose, and goal of everything that is, was, or will be. Any true understanding of our lives, our relationships, or our purpose begins with Jesus. One of the consistent themes of the Bible is that humility is a pre-condition for intimacy with God. We’ll take a moment to reflect on the connection between humility and truth. We’ll consider how a lack of humility can cloud our perspective and destroy the God-given motivation to seek the truth. A belief in the sufficiency of our own understanding precludes any inclination to look for answers beyond ourselves. The cost of looking at our lives through the faulty lens of our own understanding is high – far higher than the loss of privacy or the expenditure of funds.
Keith Lowery is a Senior Fellow at AMD Research where he focuses on the system and micro-architectural effects of emerging workloads in cloud and web computing. His work at AMD has involved the development of automated tools for the configuration, provisioning, and measurement of large-scale distributed workloads in public clouds and on bare-metal clusters. Prior to AMD, Keith was a principal engineer at Amazon where he had technical oversight for all media processing on the Amazon retail web site. If there was an image on an amazon.com web page, Keith’s team was responsible for it being there. Prior to Amazon, Keith spent 20 years doing a series of software startups. Keith’s primary technical focus since the mid 1990s has been on web scale computing and he holds numerous patents in the areas of load-balancing, traffic shaping, and distributed web cache coherence.
In addition to his work building products and infrastructures for web scale computing, Keith has a long-standing interest in the analytical use of data that is publicly accessible via the internet. Keith works as a periodic advisor to various think-tanks and national security organizations on strategies for garnering non-intuitive insights from information that is freely available on the web.