Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
Bringing the Cloud Down to Earth:
Mahadev Satyanarayanan, Stephen Smaldone*,
To appear in
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.