Thursday, July 03, 2008

HPDC'08 - Part II

Gilles Fedak delivered an invited talk at the UPGRADE-CN workshop (part of the HPDC'08). He presented the BitDew - a programmable environment that targets data management in Desktop Grids [1].

The rationale behind BitDew is that applications can define routines for data manipulation. These routines are expressed via predefined metadata, which are used by the infrastructure mechanisms to perform data management tasks, such as replication.

In a Technical Report, Gilles and colleagues present use cases and performance evaluation of mechanisms that provide data management functionality in BitDew.

In particular, I found the approach of leveraging metadata interesting. The predefined set of metadata allows the application layer to communicate requirements to the infrastructure regarding the desired level of fault tolerance and transfer protocols, for example.

In fact, this intersects with one of our projects at the NetSys Lab, where we investigate the use of custom metadata as a cross-layer communication method for storage systems [2].

As we use the file system interface to separate between the application and the storage layers, the two approaches (BitDew and our Custom Metadata approach) seem complementary. The metadata passed by the applications via BitDew could propagate to the file system, where it would interact with the Extended Attributes interface (which is exploited by our solution).

More coding fun to come...

[1] Fedak et al. "BitDew: A Programmable Environment for Large-Scale Data Management and Distribution". Technical Report, 6427, INRIA.

[2] Elizeu Santos-Neto, Samer Al-Kiswany, Nazareno Andrade, Sathish Gopalakrishnan and Matei Ripeanu. "Enabling Cross-Layer Optimizations in Storage Systems with Custom Metadata". In HPDC'08 - HotTopics. Boston, MA, USA. September, 2008.

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