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The emerging edge services architecture promises to improve the availability and performance of Web services by replicating servers at geographically distributed sites. A key challenge in such systems is data replication and consistency, so that edge server code can manipulate shared data without suffering the availability and performance penalties that would be incurred by accessing a traditional centralized database. This article explores using a distributed object architecture to build an edge service data replication system for an e-commerce application, the TPC-W benchmark, which simulates an online bookstore. We take advantage of application-specific semantics to design distributed objects that each manages a specific subset of shared information using simple and effective consistency models. Our experimental results show that by slightly relaxing consistency within individual distributed objects, our application realizes both high availability and excellent performance. For example, in one experiment, we find that our object-based edge server system provides five times better response time over a traditional centralized cluster architecture and a factor of nine improvement over an edge service system that distributes code but retains a centralized database.
Availability, data replication, distributed objects, edge services, performance, Wide Area Networks (WAN).

M. Dahlin, A. Nayate, A. Iyengar, J. Zheng and L. Gao, "Improving Availability and Performance with Application-Specific Data Replication," in IEEE Transactions on Knowledge & Data Engineering, vol. 17, no. , pp. 106-120, 2005.
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