Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


ReMoS: A Resource Monitoring System for
Network-Award Applications

Tony DeWitt, Thomas Gross, Bruce Lowekamp, Nancy Miller, Peter Steenkiste, Jaspal Subhlok, Dean Sutherland

December 1997

Keywords: Distributed computing, entwork computing, network-aware, system-aware, QOS, adaptive computing

Network-aware applications can adjust their resource demands in response to changes in the availability of resources. Such applications must be able to obtain information about the status of the network resources. Providing such information to an application is conceptually simple, yet defining an interface that addresses the needs of applications, as well as the realities of current and future networks, is far from easy. The Remos interface described in this paper allows network-aware applications to obtain information about network capabilities and network status. Interesting network information may be generated by the network hardware (switches), the network interface, or the network software, and is often in a system-specific format. Further, network architectures significantly differ in their ability to provide such information in a timely and accurate manner. Remos provides a standard interface format that is independent of the details of any particular type of network. When hosted on an advanced network architecture, Remos provides access to accurate status and capability information. On legacy networks, Remos provides as much information as is feasible, using best-effort approximation where appropriate. Using Remos, network-aware applications can be written independent of any particular network architecture, yet have the ability to tune their execution behavior to the dynamic state of the network. In this paper we motivate and describe the Remos interface. We also sketch our first implementation of the interface for an IP-based testbed. Our experience in defining and implementing Remos indicates that providing accurate feedback in a network-indendent manner is a significant challenge and we identify a number of areas for future work. The network-independent Remos interface establishes a framework that can form the basis for further research. 32 pages

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