Engineering the Future of Software
Feb 3–4, 2019: Training
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Is architecture dependent on infrastructure? (sponsored by IBM)

James Bottomley (IBM Research)
3:50pm–4:40pm Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Location: Beekman
Average rating: ***..
(3.33, 3 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Anyone interested in learning the patterns of software design

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Familiarity with infrastructure concepts like virtualization and encapsulation

What you'll learn

  • Understand why some design patterns are short lived and some are long lived
  • Learn how to tell them apart and when to use them effectively


There’s always been a deep connection between the systems we build and the materials we use to build them. Even in computer architecture, how something is built—its architecture—depends to some extent on the tools used to build it and the software that runs underneath. Effectively, this means there’s information leakage between the layers. This leakage is both good, as it allows us to see new ways of building things, and bad, in that sometimes the thing we build is so tied to the infrastructure that it doesn’t survive when the infrastructure paradigm changes.

James Bottomley examines simple architecture principles, some of which survived the paradigm shifts and some of which didn’t, explores how the infrastructure change from virtual machines to containers has influenced the way we build things, and investigates which of these new patterns might survive into future paradigm shifts and which will get left behind.

This session is sponsored by IBM.

Photo of James Bottomley

James Bottomley

IBM Research

James Bottomley is a distinguished engineer at IBM Research, where he works on cloud and container technology. James is also Linux kernel maintainer of the SCSI subsystem. He has served as a director on the board of the Linux Foundation and chair of its Technical Advisory Board. Previously, he was CTO of server virtualization at Parallels (later Odin); was a distinguished engineer at Novell’s SUSE Labs; helped found SteelEye Technology, a high-availability company for Linux and Windows, where he was vice president and CTO; and worked on distributed lock manager technology for clustering at AT&T Bell labs. James holds undergraduate and doctoral degrees from the University of Cambridge.