Browse Prior Art Database

Thoughts on Interactions in Distributed Services (RFC0722)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000003768D
Original Publication Date: 1976-Sep-16
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Document File: 12 page(s) / 29K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

J. Haverty: AUTHOR

Abstract

This paper addresses some issues concerned with the design of distributed services. In particular, it is concerned with the characteristics of the interactions, between programs which support some service at various network sites. The ideas presented are derived mainly from experience with various service protocols [Reference 1] on the ARPANET.

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Network Working Group Jack Haverty (MIT)

Request for Comments: 722 Sept 1976

NIC #36806

I. ABSTRACT

This paper addresses some issues concerned with the

design of distributed services. In particular, it is

concerned with the characteristics of the interactions,

between programs which support some service at various

network sites. The ideas presented are derived mainly from

experience with various service protocols [Reference 1]

on the ARPANET.

A model is developed of interactions between programs.

Salient features of this model which promote and simplify

the construction of reliable, responsive services are

identified. These dualities are motivated by problems

experienced with various ARPANET protocols and in the design

and maintenance of programs which use these protocols in the

performance of some service.

Using this model as a template, the general

architecture of one possible interaction protocol is

presented. This mechanism provides a foundation on which

protocols would be constructed for particular services,

simplifying the process of creating services which are easy

to implement and maintain, and appear reliable and

responsive to the customer. This presentation is meant to

serve as an introduction to a specific instance of such a

protocol, called the RRP, which is defined in one of the

references.

-1-

II. OVERVIEW AND TERMINOLOGY

This paper considers the interaction of two programs

which support some network service. It develops a model of

the interactions of a class of such applications, and

includes some thoughts on desirable goals and

characteristics of implementations. The model is derived

from a proposal [Reference 2] for mail-handling

systems. Terminology, as introduced, is highlighted by

capitalization.

Many uses of computer networks involve communication

directly between programs, without human intervention or

monitoring. Some examples would include an advanced

mail-handling system, or any kind of multi-site data base

manager.

Such programs will be termed SERVERs. They are the

users of some mechanism which provides the needed

communication and synchronization. The particular facility

which the servers implement will be termed a SERVICE.

Servers for any particular service may be written in several

languages, operate in various system environments on

different kinds of computers. The entity which utilizes the

service will be termed the CUSTOMER.

Servers interact during ENCOUNTERs, which are the

periods when two servers are in communication. An encounter

begins when one server establishes a CHANNEL, a

bidirectional communication link with another server. The

interaction between servers is effected by the exchange of

information over the channel. The conventions used in such

an exchange are defined by the PROTOCOLs for the

interaction.

The theme of this paper is a model for a particular

class of process interactions which may be...