Snowflake: Spanning Administrative Domains
Report by Dartmouth Department of Computer Science
Many distributed systems provide a “single-system image” to their users, so the user has the illusion that they are using a single system when in fact they are using many distributed resources. It is a powerful abstraction that helps users to manage the complexity of using distributed resources. The goal of the Snowflake project is to discover how single-system images can be made to span administrative domains. Our current prototype organizes resources in namespaces and distributes them using Java Remote Method Invocation. Challenging issues include how much flexibility should be built into the namespace interface, and how transparent the network and persistent storage should be. We outline future work on making Snowflake administrator-friendly.