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Re: Remote execution / application migration



"A JOSEPH KOSHY" <koshy@india.hp.com> asks:
>1. Whats the equivalent of the UNIX remote shell for Inferno?  I would
>   like a CPU intensive app to execute on a CPU server, though invoked
>   from a  lower power terminal.

Of course, it's possible to build an application that provides its
computation remotely, but there's nothing of which I'm aware that will
transparently wrap a program so that it would run remotely, and I expect
that's what you want.

So I don't think there's any automatic way.  The Plan 9 model was that you
have to log in to the CPU server; in the absence of anything in the Inferno
descriptions to the contrary, I assume they still think the same way.

>2. Can an Inferno application, `migrate itself' to another machine; this
>   is useful for nomadic applications.

There doesn't appear to any support for anything resembling checkpoint/
restart, so I doubt it.

On a philosophical note, although the Plan 9/Inferno designers have done
a marvelous job of dealing with access to data by modeling it as files,
their treatment of CPU activity is quite simple.  I suspect it's because
their desire to interact with a wide range of data has made them spend a
lot of time thinking about how to make data access work smoothly and
automatically.  On the other hand, their computational needs are relatively
modest, so they're willing to put up with the annoyance of managing their
CPU resources explicitly, and therefore haven't thought about any mechanisms
to handle it automatically.

This is not necessarily a bad thing.  They have to focus their resources
somewhere and remote computation is not something they need right now.
Moreover, modeling distributed computation is not simple---I certainly
don't know how to do it cleanly.

-- Greg