Date: 13 Dec 2011

Another look at the middleware for dependable distributed computing

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Abstract

Key concepts of reliable distributed computing developed during the 1980s and 1990s (e.g., transactions, replication) influenced the standards based middleware such as CORBA and Java EE. This middleware has evolved steadily over the years with message passing facilities to support construction of loosely coupled systems. However, the way networked computing is being used for business and social uses is undergoing rapid changes as new ways of constructing distributed execution environments from varieties of resources, ranging from computational, storage, network to application level services, provided by globally distributed service providers are emerging. In light of these developments, the paper examines what core concepts, components, and techniques that will be required in the next-generation middleware for dependable distributed computing. The paper puts forward the case for five topics for further research: better coordination facilities for loosely coupled systems, restructuring of the middleware stack for supporting multi-tenancy, replication in the large, negotiation, and enforcement of service agreements, and accountability.