Robbert van Renesse Andrew S. Tanenbaum
Dept. of Mathematics and Computer Science Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Sape J. Mullender
Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science Amsterdam
AMOEBA is a research project to build a true distributed operating system using the object model. Under the COST11-ter MANDIS project this work was extended to cover wide-area networks. Besides describing the system, this paper discusses the successive versions in the implementation of its model, and why the changes were made. Its purpose is to prevent ourselves and others from making the same mistakes again, and to illustrate how a distributed operating system grows in sophistication and size.
"Those who learnnothing fi'omhistory are doomed to repeat it" -Santayana For about eight years now, we have been doing research on distributed operating systems, not only behind our desks, but also behind our terminals. The distributed system we are developing is called AMOEBA[l], and it is constantly evolving. It is being developed at the Vrije Universiteit and the Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI), both in Amsterdam. AMOEBAcurrently runs on Motorola 68020, National Semiconductor 32032, and MicroVax II processors. Both Ethemet and the Pronet token ring are supported by AMOEBA, and can be connected by a bridge. COST11-ter MANDIS is an international project investigating the management requirements for large international networks of computers. It has adopted the object-model as a framework within which to discuss the management of wide-area distributed systems. To experiment with this, the MANDIS project adopted the Amoeba distributed operating system, extended with a gateway for wide-area communication. Amoeba systems in Holland (Vrije Universiteit, CWI), the U.K. (Harwell Laboratories, Haffield Polytechnic), in Berlin (GMD/FOKUS) and in Norway (University of Troms0) have been connected into a single, transparent... [continua]
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