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Supporting fault-tolerant and open distributed processing using RPC
journal contributionposted on 1996-06-01, 00:00 authored by Wanlei Zhou
This paper is concerned mainly with the software aspects of achieving reliable operations in an open distributed processing environment. A system for supporting fault-tolerant and cross-transport protocol distributed software development is described. The fault-tolerant technique used is a variation of the recovery blocks and the distributed computing model used is the remote procedure call (RPC) model. The system incorporates fault tolerance features and cross-transport protocol communication features into the RPC system and makes them transparent to users. A buddy is set up for a fault-tolerant server to be its alternative. When an RPC to a server fails, the system will automatically switch to the buddy to seek for an alternate service. The client, the fault-tolerant server and the buddy of the server can all use a different transport protocol. To obtain this fault tolerance and cross-protocol service, users only need to specify their requirements in a descriptive interface definition language. All the maintenance of fault tolerance and the cross-protocol communication is managed by the system in a user transparent manner. By using our system, users will have confidence in their distributed programs without bothering the fault tolerance and cross-protocol communication details. Our system is small, simple, easy to use and also has the advantage of producing server and client driver programs, and finally, executable programs directly from the server definition files.