Improving The Performance of Distributed Applications Using Active Networks

Appears in IEEE INFOCOM'98.


Ulana Legedza, David J. Wetherall, and John Guttag


An active network permits applications to inject customized programs into network nodes. This permits faster protocol innovation by making it easier to deploy new network protocols, even over the wide area. In this paper, we argue that the ability to introduce active protocols offers important opportunities for end-to-end performance improvements of distributed applications.

We begin by describing several active protocols that provide novel network services and discussing the impact of the services on end-to-end application performance. We then discuss two active protocols that implement a previously studied service, reliable multicast. One protocol is optimized to support batch applications and the other interactive applications. Finally, we analyze the performance of these protocols relative to a baseline non-active protocol. The results clearly demonstrate that the introduction of active protocols tuned to the needs of specific applications can lead to significant performance improvements.


.ps , .ps.gz