Sunday, 26 May 2013

Need of the hour : Strong mobility in .NET based distributed applications.

Typically, distributed application written in .NET are either code distributed (assemblies moved across machines/nodes) or data distributed (data serialized across machines/nodes). What might additionally be required is strong mobility of process/thread/ TPL task/fiber etc. This effectively means serializing a task/thread with its execution context too. Once this is implemented, this means that a thread/method/delegate function would theoretically be executed across machines, with the context flowing across machines seamlessly and the final result getting back to the starting node.

Though custom framework could be written to emulate strong mobile process by building over the underlying OS provisions, it would require the following :

a.) serializable custom execution context store for each mobile process
b.) serializable data store store for all data - should be straightforward.
c.) serializable code that is independent, with minimal distributed locks and stateless as possible.

Point 1 requires the framework to have provision for events for each context switch and mechanism to indicate back to the local execution system not to proceed with the current execution object as it has been machine switched / context distributed.

All this requires very low level support for the execution runtime and maybe at an OS level too. Given the overall direction of distributed computing and the cloud, this becomes a necessity.

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