Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Bringing the Cloud Down to Earth:
Transient PCs Everywhere

Mahadev Satyanarayanan, Stephen Smaldone*,
Benjamin Gilbert, Jan Harkes, Liviu Iftode*

September 2010

To appear in
Proceedings of the International Workshop on Mobile Computing and Clouds
October 20101, Santa Clara, CA


Keywords: Cloud computing, mobile computing, centralization, autonomy, interdependence, virtual machines, Andrew project, Internet Suspend/Resume, portable storage

The convergence of cloud computing and mobile computing is the latest chapter in a long-running dialectic between centralization and decentralization in system design. Cloud computing represents a thrust in which the forces of centralization are ascendant. Mobile computing, on the other hand, represents a thrust in which the forces of decentralization dominate. In this paper, we show how use of virtual machine technology can lead to new "sweet spots" in the space of system architectures that try to reconcile the tradeoffs between centralization and decentralization. Notably, it yields the Transient PC computing model which preserves the centralization benefits of cloud computing without sacrificing mobility or usability.

11 pages

*Rutgers University

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