Autonomy or interdependence in distributed systems

Michael D. Schroeder


You want your own processors and memory because 1) you want administrative

control over its scheduling policy and 2) having your own makes it

potentially more private. Having administrative control means you

can optimize for low latency rather than high throughput and that

you can be sure to have computing at 2am Monday morning as well as

at 2pm Thursday afternoon. If you are not careful, having administrative control turns you into

a "system manager", a very unpleasant prospect if the system is, say,

Unix; not that much better if i t ' s a Macintosh (installing new software

and I/O devices is time consuming and mysterious). One strong argument

for interdependent systems is that a site can hire a single system

manager to manage all workstations. But he will only be able to do

that if they all use a fairly standard configurations of hardware

and software. Even if they all run "stand-alone", the common management

reduces autonomy. You don't ever want your own name server, file server or authenticat


Publication typeInproceedings
Published inProceedings of the 3rd workshop on ACM SIGOPS European workshop: Autonomy or interdependence in distributed systems?
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc.
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