Object Invocation Across the Network – Georgia Tech – Advanced Operating Systems

Object Invocation Across the Network – Georgia Tech – Advanced Operating Systems


As I mentioned, Spring is a network operating system. So, what I described to you just now, is how object invocation works within a single node. But these doors are confined to the nucleus on a single node. And we need to be able to do object invocation across the network. The client domain may be over here and the server domain may be on a different node on the local area network. Object invocation between client and server across the network is extended using network proxies. For example, on the client box there is this Proxy B and on the server box, there is the Proxy A and proxies can be potentially different for connecting to different servers. So, this client may talk to this server using this proxy. And may talk to a different server, which I’m not showing here using a completely different proxy. In other words, the proxies can potentially employ different protocols. That’s where you have the opportunity to specialize. Whether the communication that’s happening between the client and server is on the local area network or on a wide area network, and so on. Depending on that, you can employ the protocol that is appropriate for use in the proxy. So, this is a key property of building a network operating system in Sun where they wanted to make sure that decisions are not being ingrained in the operating system of a single node, in terms of the connectivity of that node to other nodes on the network. Depending on where the servers for a particular client is going to be maintained, that is where the location of the server is. You can employ different protocols to talk between the proxies that are on the client machine and the server machine. And also the proxies are invisible to the client and the server. In other words, the client and the servers are unaware whether they are both on the same machine or on a different machine, and they don’t care. Let’s see how this client-server relationship is established using these proxies. So when a client-server connection has to be made across the network. The first thing that happens is, you instantiate a proxy on the server node and establish a door for communication between the Proxy A and the server domain through the nucleus on the server machine. And now what does Proxy A is going to do, is to export a network handle embedding this Door X to its peer proxy, B that is on the client domain. And see that this interaction that’s going on between Proxy A and Proxy B is outside of anything that is in the preview of the nucleus. So the network handle that is being established has nothing to do with the primitives or the mechanism that are available in the nucleus of the Spring system. So what proxy is doing, is to create a network handle embedding this Door X. And it is going to export that to this Proxy B and Proxy B has a door that it has established locally on Nucleus B so that the client domain can communicate with it. And now what Proxy B will do, is it will use the network handle that has been exported by Proxy A to establish a connection between the two nuclei. So this network handle and the communication that goes on between these two guys is not through the nucleus. That’s important for you to understand. So now, how does the client make an invocation on the server domain? Well, when the client wants to make an invocation, it thinks that when it is accessing Door Y, it is accessing the server’s domain. But it isn’t. What it is. What it is accessing, is this Proxy B and of course access to this Door Y, which is in Proxy B, is blessed by Nucleus B, and when this invocation happens, Proxy B then is going to communicate through this network handle that it has with its peer Proxy A. And the peer Proxy A, when it gets this client invocation proxied through this Proxy B and arriving at Proxy A, will know that oh, this is really intended for the server domain. And I know how to access that through the door that I have in the server domain, and it uses the door it has in the server domain in order to make the actual invocation. So to recap, what is really going on, the client wants to open this Door X. It doesn’t have a direct handle on Door X because server domain is in a different node of the network. And therefore, the way remote invocation is accomplished, is by the server domain’s door which is the entry point into the server domain, is passed on by this proxy via a network handle to its peer proxy on a different node, in this case the client node. And once this network handle is available to Proxy B, it can establish the connection between these nuclei, and once this connection is established. Then the client domain, it thinks it is making an invocation call for Door X, but in fact it is being passed through Door Y to this proxy. And the Proxy uses a network handle to communicate that invocation over to Proxy A which then uses the actual door that will open the invocation call under server domain and execute the client domain’s call.