Internet Systems and Storage Group
Software architectures for scalable wide-area systems
Duke Computer Science

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Active Names

The shift in the use of the Internet from a distribution mechanism for static documents to a medium supporting nearly arbitrary services makes it increasingly important to provide mechanisms for locating and retrieving wide-area resources in an efficient and fault tolerant manner.  Efficiency in this case has multiple dimensions: (i) data should be delivered to clients as quickly as possible to minimize latency supporting interactive interaction with Internet services, (ii) consumed wide-area bandwidth should be minimized to protect the shared underlying medium, and (iii) any caching or replication scheme utilized to minimize latency and bandwidth should guarantee application-specified levels of cache consistency to ensure that clients do not quickly and cheaply access incorrect information.  To this end, we are designing, building, and experimenting with Active Names, a naming infrastructure that combines the process of locating and retrieving a named resource through the use of location-independent and application-specific programs.  The following paper describes our prototype and application experiences in more detail:

Overview A more detailed description of our motivation, design and approach
Applications  A description of Active Name applications