The HPCC community has been challenged to develop a next generation Internet offering performance hundreds or thousands of times superior to that of the current Internet and scalable to millions of end-points. This performance would support life-critical and safety-critical applications in health care, banking, air traffic control, national security, environmental monitoring and disaster response, and will emerge as an infrastructure in many military systems. But such applications demand much more than speed: they also require predictably reliable and secure operation, self-management, and guarantees of integrity even when perturbed by transient failures or crashes of non-critical application components. What does this tell us about the architecture of the network and the properties it must provide?
Ken Birman is Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University where he has studied distributed systems security and reliability issues since 1981. He founded a company, Isis Distributed Systems, that developed robust software solutions for stock exchanges, air traffic control, and factory automation; it currently operates as a division of Stratus Computer Inc. Birman is author of a recent book, "Building Secure and Reliable Network Applications", (Prentice Hall and Manning Publishing Company; 1997), and has written many articles on the subject, including one that appeared in Scientific American in May, 1996. He currently heads the Horus and Ensemble projects at Cornell.