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Efficient data distribution in a Web server farm

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3 Author(s)
Burns, R.C. ; IBM Almaden Res. Center, San Jose, CA, USA ; Rees, R.M. ; Long, D.D.E.

High-performance Web sites rely on Web server `farms', hundreds of computers serving the same content, for scalability, reliability, and low-latency access to Internet content. Deploying these scalable farms typically requires the power of distributed or clustered file systems. Building Web server farms on file systems complements hierarchical proxy caching. Proxy caching replicates Web content throughout the Internet, thereby reducing latency from network delays and off-loading traffic from the primary servers. Web server farms scale resources at a single site, reducing latency from queuing delays. Both technologies are essential when building a high-performance infrastructure for content delivery. The authors present a cache consistency model and locking protocol customized for file systems that are used as scalable infrastructure for Web server farms. The protocol takes advantage of the Web's relaxed consistency semantics to reduce latencies and network overhead. Our hybrid approach preserves strong consistency for concurrent write sharing with time-based consistency and push caching for readers (Web servers). Using simulation, we compare our approach to the Andrew file system and the sequential consistency file system protocols we propose to replace

Published in:

Internet Computing, IEEE  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Jul/Aug 2001

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