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Colloquium - Tanenbaum

The Design of a Billion-User Worldwide Distributed System
Vrije Universiteit
10/19/1998
12:15pm-1:15pm

With the enormous growth of wide-area networks, especially the Internet, one research focus within the operating systems community has moved to building systems that can connect together a billion users who collectively have a trillion objects. No existing system can even begin to handle this. Current wide-area applications are constructed individually and do not have any common framework and do not interwork. Furthermore, each new application developer must begin again from scratch, since pieces of existing systems are rarely reusable.

The Globe system is being designed to address these problems. It consists of an object-based layer of software ("middleware") that can be placed on top of each operating system to provide a common interface for applications to deal with. The lecture will discuss the design of the Globe layer, including the properties of its objects, classes, and interfaces. A key idea used in Globe is the distributed object, in which an object resides in multiple (possibly widely-separated) addresses spaces, a highly complex matter for a system with a trillion (potentially mobile) objects owned by a billion users.

Refreshments will be served immediately before the talk at noon.

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