Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Support for Interactive Heavyweight Services

Julio Lopez, David O'Hallaron

February 2001

Keywords: Resource-aware applications, haveyweight services, active frames, internet services, remote visualization

Interactive heavyweight services are processes that make intensive use of resources such as computing power, memory, bandwidth and storage. The interactive nature of these services means that they have to satisfy user requests in a timely manner. An example of this kind of service is the remote visualization of massive scientific datasets. In order to present a visual representation of the dataset to the user, the visualization process has to execute a series of compute intensive transformation to the data. These heavyweight services usually encounter situations of limited, heterogeneous and dynamic resources. In order to deploy this type of service we propose a simple mechanism, called active frames, that easily enables us to move work and data to other compute hosts. With this mechanism, heavyweight services can aggregate resources from multiple compute hosts to satisfy a request. The active frame mechanism allows the use of application-level information in the selection of resources to satisfy the request. This is accomplished by delegating the resource selection to an application-level scheduler. Our initial results show that this flexible mechanism does not introduce significant overhead.

40 pages

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