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Mechanism to use peer-to-peer file distribution protocol to support software provisioning

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000146555D
Original Publication Date: 2007-Feb-16
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2007-Feb-16
Document File: 3 page(s) / 42K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The present invention is a mechanism that uses a peer-to-peer file transfer protocol to support remote software installation triggered by a control server on multiple machines.

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Mechanism to use peer-to-peer file distribution protocol to support software provisioning

Disclosed is a mechanism for distributing installation files among multiple target machines using a peer-to-peer file transfer method. It reduces the load on the control server that triggers the installation by utilizing idle bandwidth among the target machines. Also, it eliminates the need of client software installation on the target machines by centralizing control at the server.

In the conventional approach, a control server sends the installation file over the network to each of the target machines, as shown in Fig.1. For a large number of target nodes and/or a large installation file, this procedure puts a large load on the control server network capacity thus limiting the speed of the whole installation operation. Moreover, if the target nodes are connected together, it results in wasted bandwidth on some parts of the network while loading other parts of the network.

Figure 1.

The above described problem can be tackled by using peer-to-peer file transfer between the target nodes. This would utilize the idle bandwidth between the nodes, and reduce the load on the control server. Although there exist peer-to-peer file sharing methods using a similar approach, such as Bit torrent, Direct Connect and IBM's Content Delivery Services (CDS), they all require extra installation and configuration of client software on the target machines. Fortunately, the software provisioning setting in our approach has the following properties:

1. The target nodes involved in the peer-to-peer file sharing operation are constant; no other node will join or leave during the process.

2. The server has significant control over the target machines.

These two properties allow the server to mastermind the whole file transfer process by sending instructions over to the nodes through standard methods such as Secure Shell (SSH) or Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), depending on the operating system at the node. By establishing communication channels between the server and target nodes using these standard

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methods, it eliminates the need of any agent or client software running on the nodes. In addition, the server can leverage its full control to centrally plan and optimize the whole file distribution process, dictating exactly which node will transfer which piece of the file at what time.

Figure 2.

Detailed process of the proposed mechanism is...