Google Research

Shun-Tak Leung


Shun-Tak Leung works on distributed storage systems. Before joining Google, he was a member of the research staff at DEC (later Compaq) Systems Research Center (SRC). Before that, he graduated with a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Washington. Over the years, he has worked on distributed systems, data storage, performance profiling, compiler optimizations, and parallel computing.

He co-developed the Google File System (GFS) and co-authored the 2003 SOSP paper. It received Best Paper Award in 2003 and the ACM SIGOPS Hall of Fame Award in 2015. The latter recognizes the most influential Operating Systems papers published at least ten years in the past. As stated in the official award recognition, GFS formed the basis for the design for the open-source HDFS system, as well the backbone for the evolution of large-scale distributed file systems at Google and elsewhere. Followed by MapReduce and Bigtable, it is one of the flurry of pioneering Google systems in large-scale computing that have been similarly recognized.

Since then, he has worked on multiple storage systems at Google, including Bigtable, Colossus (the successor to GFS), and Google Cloud Storage.

Previously at DEC SRC, he co-developed Digital Continuous Profiling Infrastructure (DCPI) and co-authored the 1997 SOSP paper, which also received Best Paper Award. DCPI was widely used for analyzing performance on platforms based on the pioneering 64-bit Alpha processor.

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