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Several recently proposed infrastructures permit client applications to interact with distributed network-accessible services by simply "plugging in" into a substrate that provides essential functionality, such as naming, discovery, and multi-protocol binding. However much work remains before the interaction can be considered truly seamless in the sense of adapting to the characteristics of the heterogeneous environments in which clients and services operate. This paper describes a novel approach for addressing this shortcoming: the partitionable services framework, which enables services to be flexibly assembled from multiple components, and facilitates transparent migration and replication of these components at locations closer to the client while still appearing as a single monolithic service. The framework consists of three pieces: (1) declarative specification of services in terms of constituent components; (2) run-time support for dynamic component deployment; and (3) planning policies, which steer the deployment to accomodate underlying environment characteristics. We demonstrate the salient features of the framework and highlight its usability and performance benefits with a case study involving a security-sensitive mail service.
Date of Conference: 2002