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Network-booting is widely adopted in universities that have to maintain many client computers. In conventional network-booting systems, the primary bottleneck is the disk image distribution servers and the network to these servers. To eliminate this bottleneck, peer-to-peer (P2P) methods must work. However, existing P2P methods, including BitTorrent, do not work well for network-booting because they are highly optimized for distributing an entire large file, while network-booting requires certain parts of a large file. In the present study, aiming to solve the problems described above, we describe a new network-booting system that uses a P2P method. In our P2P-based network-booting system, a client node receives disk blocks not only from central distribution servers but also from the other client nodes that already have the demanded disk blocks. To the best of our knowledge, our network-booting system is the first effective implementation of a network-booting system that uses a P2P method in a local area network. Unlike conventional P2P systems, the proposed network-booting system can deal with demanded parts of a large disk image. We performed experiments with 112 client nodes in real classrooms on a university campus. The results of the experiments show that our implementation scales well as the number of client nodes grows.
Date of Conference: 5-7 Dec. 2012