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Parabon

Parabon Computation, Inc. [48] announced a commercial distributed application called Frontier at the Supercomputing 2000 conference. The Frontier is available as a service over the Web or as service software. It claims to deliver scalable computing capacity via the Internet to a variety of industries. The Client Application, the Pioneer Compute Engine, and the Frontier Server are three components of the Frontier platform. The client application runs on a single computer by an individual or organization wishing to utilize the Frontier platform by communicating with the Frontier server. The Pioneer Compute Engine is a desktop application that utilizes the spare computational power of an Internet-connected machine to process small units of computational work called tasks during idle time. The Frontier Server is the central hub of the Frontier platform, which communicates with both the client application and multiple Pioneer compute engines. It coordinates the scheduling and distribution of tasks. Frontier gets a ``job''--defined by a set of elements and a set of tasks to perform computational work--from user. Then like work units in SETI@home, a job is divided into an arbitrary set of individual tasks that is executed independently on a single node. Each task is defined by a set of elements it contains a list of parameters, and an entry point in the form of a JavaTM class name. The inherent security features of JVM technology was the main reason to choose Java over other programming languages as programming language of Frontier. The JVM provides a ``sandbox'' inside which an engine can securely process tasks on a provider's computer. Valid Java bytecode has to be sent to engines and used to run tasks within the JVM. In this project sustaining a large network of ``volunteer'' machines is a problem. Not many consumers are willing to donate computing cycles for purely commercial projects. Parabon system is good for task parallel applications but arguably is not peer to peer computing in sense tasks cannot communicate. Parabon system is less appropriate for the more tightly-coupled SPMD programming we are interested in.
next up previous contents
Next: JXTA Up: Peer to Peer Computing Previous: SETI@home   Contents
Bryan Carpenter 2004-06-09