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Eidolon: Adapting distributed applications to their environment

Authors

Daniel Potts

School of Computer Science and Engineering
UNSW
Sydney
Australia

Abstract

Grids, multi-clusters, NUMA systems, and ad-hoc collections of distributed computing devices all present diverse environments in which distributed computing applications can be run. Due to the diversity of features provided by these environments a distributed application that is to perform well must be specifically designed and optimised for the environment in which it is deployed. Such optimisations generally affect the application's communication structure, its consistency protocols, and its communication protocols.

This thesis explores approaches to improving the ability of distributed applications to share consistent data efficiently and with improved functionality over wide-area and diverse environments.

We identify a fundamental separation of concerns for distributed applications. This is used to propose a new model, called the view model, which is a hybrid, cost-conscious approach to remote data sharing. It provides the necessary mechanisms and interconnects to improve the flexibility and functionality of data sharing without defining new programming models or protocols.

We employ the view model to adapt distributed applications to their run-time environment without modifying the application or inventing new consistency or communication protocols. We explore the use of view model properties on several programming models and their consistency protocols. In particular, we focus on programming models used in distributed-shared-memory middleware and applications, as these can benefit significantly from the properties of the view model.

Our evaluation demonstrates the benefits, side effects and potential short-comings of the view model by comparing our model with traditional models when running distributed applications across several multi-clusters scenarios. In particular, we show that the view model improves the performance of distributed applications while reducing resource usage and communication overheads.

BibTeX Entry

  @phdthesis{Potts:phd,
    school           = {UNSW},
    title            = {Eidolon: Adapting Distributed Applications to Their Environment},
    author           = {Daniel Potts},
    month            = jan,
    year             = {2008},
    address          = {Sydney, Australia}
  }

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