A Framework for Structuring Group Support in LSDCs

Paulo Veríssimo, Werner Vogels and Luís Rodrigues

This paper is an expanded and revised version (with a different title) of the paper "The Changing Face of Technology in Distributed Systems" in Proceedings of the 4th IEEE Workshop on Future Trends in DCS, September 1993, Lisboa, Portugal.


The development of distributed systems in the next few years will most probably be centered around: improvement of facilities for application development and execution control; development of new distributed applications; integration of new technologies to support the first two. User requirements, which are the strongest push for such development, stimulate: the improvement of application development and administration/diagnostic tools; and the incorporation of innovative technologies to overcome present shortcomings, that are known to stall or even prevent the satisfaction of some of those user requirements.

This paper discusses a framework for group-oriented system structuring and programming in large-scale systems. By looking into a few distribution support aspects, it motivates the utility of groups at all system levels. It advances structuring principles and points to the emerging technologies that may support them. The paper focuses, among those, on large-scale internetworking and multiparticipant communication. It discusses how, in the authors' opinion, multipoint (group) communication, logical addressing, membership management, and topology protocols may be used to implement efficient and robust infrastructures for large-scale distribution.

Also available extended report (gzip postscript).