Prof. Mark Little was previously a Visiting Research Fellow at the School and was very successful in providing masters project placements at Red Hat. As a visiting Professor he now has a very senior and influential role within Red Hat (CTO of middleware division). Prof. Little is also responsible for expanding Red Hat's R&D work on Cloud Computing at Newcastle. He has recently hired two staff (Newcastle Postgraduates) to work full-time on collaborative research projects proposed by Prof. Santosh Shrivastava and Prof. Paul Watson. This activity is expected to expand, with the creation of Red Hal's first R&D centre outside the USA.
As a result of academic study and industrial experience Prof. Little has become an expert on Web Services, Distributed Transaction Technology and Reliable Middleware as well as how to produce world-class products. A sound commercial background and strategic focus gives clear direction and definitive guidelines for developing, releasing and supporting new products beyond a working concept. As a director of two start-up companies, he was actively involved in their success: his first company, Arjuna Solutions, was acquired by Bluestone Software, whilst his second company, Arjuna Technologies, remains independent and has continued to grow. Prof. Little has been involved in the business development side of both companies and provided the technological lead throughout.
Prof. Little carried out a research PhD in the area of "Object Replication in Distributed Systems" at the Newcastle University. This involved categorising the various types of replication protocol, and differentiating between data and object replication. The result was the design and implementation of a suite of replication protocols, each of which could tolerate a different class of failure conditions, offering trade-offs between fault-tolerance and performance. This work was fully integrated into the Arjuna system to provide its high-availability characteristics. He also attained a BSc First Class Joint Honours degree in Physics and Computing Science from Newcastle University.