Report Number: CS-TR-85-1087
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science
Title: Preemptable remote execution facilities for the V-system
Author: Theimer, Marvin M.
Author: Lantz, Keith A.
Author: Cheriton, David R.
Date: September 1985
Abstract: A remote execution facility allows a user of a
workstation-based distributed system to offload programs onto
idle workstations, thereby providing the user with access to
computational resources beyond that provided by his personal
workstation. In this paper, we describe the design and
performance of the remote execution facility in the V
distributed system, as well as several implementation issues
of interest. In particular, we focus on network transparency
of the execution environment, preemption and migration of
remotely executed programs, and avoidance of residual
dependencies on the original host. We argue that preemptable
remote execution allows idle workstations to be used a a
"pool of processors" without interfering with use by their
owners and without significant overhead for the normal
execution of programs. In general, we conclude that the cost
of providing preemption is modest compared to providing a
similar amount of computation service by dedicated