Validating Storage System Instrumentation

Appeared in Proceedings of the 21st IEEE International Symposium on Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation of Computer and Telecommunication Systems (MASCOTS 2013).

Abstract

There is a large body of work—such as system administration and intrusion detection—that relies upon storage system logs and snapshots. These solutions rely on accurate system records; however, little effort has been made to verify the correctness of logging instrumentation and log reliability. We present a solution, called ExDiff, that uses expectation differencing to validate storage system logs. Our solution can identify development errors such as the omission of a logging point and runtime errors such as log crashes. ExDiff uses metadata snapshots and activity logs to predict the expected state of the system and compares that with the system’s actual state. Mismatches between the expected and actual metadata states can then be used to highlight gaps in log coverage, as well as aid in identifying specific types of missing entries. We show that ExDiff provides valuable insight to system designers, administrators and researchers by accurately identifying gaps in log coverage, providing clues useful in isolating specific types of missing log entries, and highlighting potential misunderstandings in logged action.

Publication date:
August 2013

Authors:
Ian Adams
Mark W. Storer
Avani Wildani
Ethan L. Miller
Brian Madden

Projects:
Archival Storage
Tracing and Benchmarking

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Bibtex entry

@inproceedings{adams13-mascots,
  author       = {Ian Adams and Mark W. Storer and Avani Wildani and Ethan L.
Miller and Brian Madden},
  title        = {Validating Storage System Instrumentation},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the 21st IEEE International Symposium on Modeling,
Analysis, and Simulation of     Computer and Telecommunication
Systems (MASCOTS 2013)},
  month        = aug,
  year         = {2013},
}
Last modified 8 Nov 2013