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Xdistribute: A process distribution system

By Karl Petty and Nick Mckeown


Abstract- Powerful, single-user workstations- now common in the workplace- spend most of their time sitting idle. In an attempt to find low-cost computational power researchers have attempted to take advantage of these idle machines. Many systems have been designed, ranging from simple process distribution like Condor [1], to completely new operating systems like Sprite [2] and Amoeba [3]. Although very powerful, these systems are out of reach of the typical user- they require special privileges, and require specialized installation, set-up and maintenance. We propose a simpler way to utilize these idle machines using a remote execution environment. We have written an application, xdistribute, that is extremely portable, simple to use, requires no changes to any source code, leaves no residual dependencies on the local machine, and can be used by any user without modification to the operating system or installation of any network daemons.

Year: 1996
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