Fri 21 - Thu 27 October 2011 Portland, Oregon, United States

As hardware failures are no longer rare in the era of cloud computing, cloud software systems must “prevail” against multiple, diverse failures that are likely to occur. Testing software against multiple failures poses the problem of combinatorial explosion of multiple failures. To address this problem, we present PreFail, a programmable failure-injection tool that enables testers to write a wide range of policies to prune down the large space of multiple failures. We integrate PreFail to three cloud software systems (HDFS, Cassandra, and ZooKeeper), show a wide variety of useful pruning policies that we can write for them, and evaluate the speed-ups in testing time that we obtain by using the policies. In our experiments, our testing approach with appropriate policies found all the bugs that one can find using exhaustive testing while spending 10X–200X less time than exhaustive testing.