The Research Server Complex Manager for Large-Scale Multimedia Servers

The Research Multimedia Server Complex is a scalable collection of heterogeneous multimedia servers which uses a variety of communications protocols and network types to deliver multimedia objects to clients. The multimedia objects, which vary greatly in size, may be a mixture of data types including video, audio, and image. Providing a uniform interface that can accommodate a large variety of servers and communication interfaces is a significant challenge. The major functions of the Research Server Complex Manager (RSCM) are as follows. The RSCM provides a uniform external interface to applications hiding the heterogeneity and making the server complex appear as a single multimedia server. QOS for streams is guaranteed by the RSCM by reserving resources for individual requests. The RSCM provides interfaces for entering multimedia objects into the server complex as well as for recording information about the objects needed for efficient management of the server complex. Finally, a single operational interface for managing the complex is provided by the RSCM. The Research Server Complex Manager is designed and implemented in order to validate various design decisions and to experiment with alternatives. It has been used in trials and forms the basis for the Media Streamer product from IBM. This paper justifies the particular functions of the RSCM, explains the design decisions and tradeoffs, and summarizes the lessons learned during implementation and use. The overall Server Complex Architecture and other components are also discussed.

By: A. Dan, M. Eshel, J. Hollan, R. Kemeson, M. Kienzle, J. McAssey, R. Rose, D. Sitaram and W. Tetzlaff

Published in: RC20705 in 1997


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