Prof. Peter Chen has been
named a 2008 Fellow of the
IEEE for his
contributions to fault-tolerant storage systems.
Achieving the grade of Fellows recognizes unusual distinction in the
profession and is given to an individual with an extraordinary record of
accomplishments, who has also contributed importantly to the advancement or
application of engineering, science and technology, bringing the realization
of significant value to society.
For more than
a decade, Peter Chen has been a pioneer in the field of fault-tolerant
storage systems, developing techniques that allow computing systems to
survive disk failures, operating system crashes, and computer intrusions.
His research has spanned three important classes of storage devices: disk
arrays, reliable memory, and distributed file systems.
Chen did some of the earliest work on redundant arrays of inexpensive disks
as part of the Berkeley RAID project. He conducted the first performance
evaluation of disk arrays and developed the first algorithm for determining
how to stripe data across disks. Since this pioneering work, disk arrays
have become standard equipment on computer servers and many desktops and are
the primary vehicle for providing high-performance, fault-tolerant data
storage. The disk array industry is now a multi-billion dollar per year
Chen's Rio (RAM I/O) Project led to the creation of a new storage technology
-- reliable main memory -- which is as fast as memory and is as safe from
software crashes as disks are. He was the first to propose enhancing main
memory to serve as permanent file storage and the first to design,
implement, evaluate, and apply such a system.
Recently, Chen has been at the cutting edge of research in the area of
computer forensics. His "virtual machines" provide security services that
work even after the operating system is compromised. Through the use of the
"ReVirt" system, intrusions can be retraced and the events of a computer
intrusion recorded with no loss of information.
Chen's virtual machines utilize what he and his research group terms
"introspection," whereby analysts can answer questions such as: "did someone
break into my system using a vulnerability that I (now) know about?" VMware,
a leading manufacturer of virtual machines, has incorporated these
innovations into its product line in order to improve the reliability and
security of its software.
Prof. Chen has received numerous best paper awards for his research, along
with his students. Throughout his teaching career, Chen has shown himself to
be a gifted and committed teacher. He received the 2001 Amoco Undergraduate
Teaching Award, and was named an Arthur F. Thurnau professor in 2007 in
recognition of his contributions to teaching.