Advances in semiconductor integration and network technology make it possible for the first time to create sophisticated distributed multimedia applications for a large audience. The client-server paradigm of communication is a popular choice for a number of important distributed multimedia applications, such as video-on-demand. Certain forms of multimedia data, such as audio-visual data must be delivered in continuous, high-volume streams of data. Hence multimedia servers face more complex challenges than conventional file servers. This research study focuses on advanced architectural features to improve the cost/performance ratio of multimedia servers based on conventional workstation architectures. The majority of prior research in the context of multimedia servers has concentrated on issues such as data placement and access strategies for secondary storage, while other areas have not enjoyed the same level of attention. Of particular interest is the area of arbitration: to meet de..
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