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.

Google Publications

Previous Publications


    Myriad: Cost-Effective Disaster Tolerance

    Fay W. Chang, Minwen Ji, Shun-Tak Leung, John MacCormick, Sharon E. Perl, Li Zhang

    Proceedings of the First USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies, USENIX, Monterey, CA (2002), pp. 103-116


    Towards Web-scale Web Archaeology

    Shun-Tak A. Leung, Sharon E. Perl, Raymie Stata, Janet L. Wiener

    Compaq Computer Corporation, DEC SRC (2001)


    Efficient and Flexible Value Sampling

    Michael Burrows, Úlfar Erlingsson, Shun-Tak Leung, Mark T. Vandevoorde, Carl A. Waldspurger, Kip Walker, William E. Weihl

    ASPLOSProceedings of the 9th International Conference on Architectural Support Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS IX), ACM, Cambridge, MA (2000), pp. 160-167


    Hardware Support for Out-of-Order Instruction Profiling on Alpha 21264a

    J. Anderson, L. Berc, Jeffrey Dean, Sanjay Ghemawat, S. Leung, M. Litchenberg, M Vandevoorde, G. Verns, C. Waldspurger, W. Weihl, J. White

    HOTCHIPS 99, IEEE (1999)


    Transparent, Low-Overhead Profiling on Modern Processors

    Jennifer Anderson, Lance Berc, George Chrysos, Jeffrey Dean, Sanjay Ghemawat, Jamey Hicks, Shun-tak Leung, mitch Lichtenberg, Mark Vendevoorde, Carl A. Waldspurger, William E. Weihl

    Workshop on Profile and Feedback-Directed Compilation, Paris (1998)


    Continuous Profiling: Where Have All the Cycles Gone?

    Jennifer-Ann M. Anderson, Lance M. Berc, Jeffrey Dean, Sanjay Ghemawat, Monika Rauch Henzinger, Shun-Tak Leung, Richard L. Sites, Mark T. Vandevoorde, Carl A. Waldspurger, William E. Weihl

    ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, vol. 15 (1997), pp. 357-390


    Improving the Performance of Runtime Parallelization

    Shun-Tak Leung, John Zahorjan

    Proceedings on ACM Conference on Principles and Practice of Parallel Programming (PPoPP), San Diego, CA (1993), pp. 83-91