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Effective testing and debugging techniques for a group communication system

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5 Author(s)
E. Farchi ; HRL, IBM, Haifa, Israel ; G. Kliot ; Y. Krasny ; A. Krits
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View-oriented group communication is an important and widely used building block for constructing highly-available fault-tolerant systems. Unfortunately, group-communication based systems are extremely hard to test and debug due to a number of stateful complex algorithms deployed in parallel and the unique combination of distributed and concurrent programming paradigms that amplifies the non-determinism in the system behavior. In this work, we elaborate on the specific challenges we encountered during the process of testing DCS, a group communication component of the WebSphere (WAS) architecture, as well as on the methodology we have devised and employed in order to cope with these challenges. Our solution relies on a carefully compiled set of invariants that need to be preserved at every execution point and a log analyzer algorithm that performs cross-log verification for all the processes participating in the execution, as well as on of other techniques whose details are described in the paper.

Published in:

2005 International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks (DSN'05)

Date of Conference:

28 June-1 July 2005