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Web servers rely on edge network devices to perform a number of operations that directly affect the experience of clients and Web services. Distributing Web services across geographic locations owned and configured by third parties is becoming increasingly popular in dealing with high demands. Under the current distributed model, a uniform configuration across all sites is difficult to maintain, resulting in different clients and service experience, which are dependent on the local set-up. In this paper, we propose a model and architecture that enable the owner of a Web service to maintain uniform configuration across all hosting sites. The model enables the administrator of a Web service to write a single configuration script that is then executed on all edge devices at all hosting sites. This is enabled by deploying a new edge device architecture called Serviter. Serviter enables safe sharing of devices through strict partitioning and hardware abstraction thereby facilitating interoperability among vendors.
Date of Conference: 10-12 Aug. 2005