Service Oriented File Systems

Service Oriented Architectures (SOAs) are a loose coupling of network services providing methods for systems development and integration. Interoperability between different systems and programming languages is provided via communication protocols and well defined messages. The recent development trend has been to favor RESTful approaches for these interfaces, which encode relevant context and semantic metadata into the URL of an HTTP GET or PUT operation.

We observe that this approach is essentially a simplified web-instantiation of synthetic file system based service interfaces, such as those originally pioneered by UNIX and later the Plan 9 and Inferno operating systems. In this paper we advocate the collapse of the software stack by abstracting the underlying transport and naming details, and accessing RESTful services via standard file system interfaces. We explore the research challenges and opportunities presented by taking such an approach to building comprehensive dynamic distributed systems appropriate for large scale cloud computing.

By: Eric Van Hensbergen; Noah Evans; Phillip Stanley-Marbell

Published in: RC24788 in 2009


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