Yi-Min Wang, Chad Verbowski, John Dunagan, Yu Chen, Helen J. Wang, Chun Yuan, and Zheng Zhang
We describe a new approach, called Strider, to Change and Configuration Management and Support (CCMS). Strider is a black-box approach: without relying on specifications, it uses state differencing to identify potential causes of differing program behaviors, uses state tracing to identify actual, run-time state dependencies, and uses statistical behavior modeling for noise filtering. Strider is a state-based approach: instead of linking vague, high-level descriptions and symptoms to relevant actions, it models management and support problems in terms of individual, named pieces of low-level configuration state and provides precise mappings to user-friendly information through a computer genomics database. We use troubleshooting of configuration failures to demonstrate that the Strider approach reduces problem complexity by several orders of magnitude, making root cause analysis possible.