A peer-to-peer middleware framework for resilient persistent programming

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The persistent programming systems of the 1980s offered a programming model that integrated computation and long-term storage. In these systems, reliable applications could be engineered without requiring the programmer to write translation code to manage the transfer of data to and from non-volatile storage. More importantly, it simplified the programmer's conceptual model of an application, and avoided the many coherency problems that result from multiple cached copies of the same information. Although technically innovative, persistent languages were not widely adopted, perhaps due in part to their closed-world model. Each persistent store was located on a single host, and there were no flexible mechanisms for communication or transfer of data between separate stores. Here we re-open the work on persistence and combine it with modern peer-to-peer techniques in order to provide support for orthogonal persistence in resilient and potentially long-running distributed applications. Our vision is of an infrastructure within which an application can be developed and distributed with minimal modification, whereupon the application becomes resilient to certain failure modes. If a node, or the connection to it, fails during execution of the application, the objects are re-instantiated from distributed replicas, without their reference holders being aware of the failure. Furthermore, we believe that this can be achieved within a spectrum of application programmer intervention, ranging from minimal to totally prescriptive, as desired. The same mechanisms encompass an orthogonally persistent programming model. We outline our approach to implementing this vision, and describe current progress.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of St Andrews
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • cs.DC
  • Distributed, parallel, and cluster computing


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