The architecture of an autonomic, resource-aware, workstation-based distributed database system
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Distributed software systems that are designed to run over workstation machines within organisations are termed workstation-based. Workstation-based systems are characterised by dynamically changing sets of machines that are used primarily for other, user-centric tasks. They must be able to adapt to and utilize spare capacity when and where it is available, and ensure that the non-availability of an individual machine does not affect the availability of the system. This thesis focuses on the requirements and design of a workstation-based database system, which is motivated by an analysis of existing database architectures that are typically run over static, specially provisioned sets of machines. A typical clustered database system — one that is run over a number of specially provisioned machines — executes queries interactively, returning a synchronous response to applications, with its data made durable and resilient to the failure of machines. There are no existing workstation-based databases. Furthermore, other workstation-based systems do not attempt to achieve the requirements of interactivity and durability, because they are typically used to execute asynchronous batch processing jobs that tolerate data loss — results can be re-computed. These systems use external servers to store the final results of computations rather than workstation machines. This thesis describes the design and implementation of a workstation-based database system and investigates its viability by evaluating its performance against existing clustered database systems and testing its availability during machine failures.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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