[ih] Dave Farber's DCS
karl at cavebear.com
Wed Jul 22 16:48:11 PDT 2020
When I was at SDC during the 1970's I met Frank Heinrich (who eventually
became my Best Man at my wedding.) Frank was a student of Dave Farber
on the Distributed Computing System (DCS) at UC Irvine during the late
DCS used distributed services (via a ring network) to build the chunks
of an operating system. It used a bid-and-contract system to bind the
pieces together - if you needed file storage you put out a bid for
storage and machines that had that facility would send back a response,
with a cost. Then there was a contracting phase to bind the relationship.
(IBM had to concede to DCS that IBM did not invent the token ring
Frank H. taught Dave Kaufman and me about DCS. That had a lot of
influence on some of the things we were working on under wraps of
government secrecy. Dave K. and I were fascinated with the idea of
extending capability-system like protection domains, with privilege
delegation, across the net to create encapsulated DCS-like network
services. (This was before one of our consultants, Whit Diffie, did his
public-key cryptography stuff.)
I don't think that DCS had much of a practical impact on the net. That
is, not until the last decade or so.
That concept kinda went dormant for a long time. But it came back with
the rise of HTTP/S based web APIs, such as in Amazon's AWS and many of
Google's APIs to things like graphing tools and such.
It has also come back with people using Docker containers as services
that are created and scattered around the net as needed, often with DNS
or a higher-level naming service used to locate and bind them.
Is there a description of DCS that is better then the inadequate
snippets and fragments that one finds occasionally?
(BTW, I did a multi-hour interview with Dave Farber some years ago and a
sizeable part was about DCS.)
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