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Issue No.02 - February (2001 vol.12)
pp: 99-114
ABSTRACT
<p><b>Abstract</b>—The RAIN project is a research collaboration between Caltech and NASA-JPL on distributed computing and data storage systems for future spaceborne missions. The goal of the project is to identify and develop key building blocks for reliable distributed systems built with inexpensive off-the-shelf components. The RAIN platform consists of a heterogeneous cluster of computing and/or storage nodes connected via multiple interfaces to networks configured in fault-tolerant topologies. The RAIN software components run in conjunction with operating system services and standard network protocols. Through software-implemented fault tolerance, the system tolerates multiple node, link, and switch failures, with no single point of failure. The RAIN technology has been transfered to Rainfinity, a start-up company focusing on creating clustered solutions for improving the performance and availability of Internet data centers. In this paper, we describe the following contributions: 1) fault-tolerant interconnect topologies and communication protocols providing consistent error reporting of link failures, 2) fault management techniques based on group membership, and 3) data storage schemes based on computationally efficient error-control codes. We present several proof-of-concept applications: a highly-available video server, a highly-available Web server, and a distributed checkpointing system. Also, we describe a commercial product, Rainwall, built with the RAIN technology.</p>
INDEX TERMS
Distributed computing, scalable architectures, interconnection networks, fault tolerance, data storage, cluster computing.
CITATION
Vasken Bohossian, Chenggong C. Fan, Paul S. LeMahieu, Marc D. Riedel, Lihao Xu, Jehoshua Bruck, "Computing in the RAIN: A Reliable Array of Independent Nodes", IEEE Transactions on Parallel & Distributed Systems, vol.12, no. 2, pp. 99-114, February 2001, doi:10.1109/71.910866
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