HTC and Cloud and Grid Computing

The HyperText Computing (HTC) paradigm is not a “complete solution” to the challenges and opportunites afforded by Cloud and Grid computing — however this post argues that the HTC is part of the solution. My angle into this question is via a recent blog post.

This is how Tim Foster, in a recent post at Grid Gurus, concludes his discussion of current and future trends of Cloud and Grid computing (emphasis mine):

In building this distributed “cloud” or “grid” (“groud”?), we will need to support on-demand provisioning and configuration of integrated “virtual systems” providing the precise capabilities needed by an end-user. We will need to define protocols that allow users and service providers to discover and hand off demands to other providers, to monitor and manage their reservations, and arrange payment. We will need tools for managing both the underlying resources and the resulting distributed computations. We will need the centralized scale of today’s cloud utilities, and the distribution and interoperability of today’s grid facilities.

The concepts that Tim highlights: “on-demand provisioning”, “configuring integrated virtual systems”, providing “precise capabilities” and a focus on the needs of the “end-user” are all addressed by the HyperText Computing (HTC) paradigm. HTC also addresses the need to view central resources through the same lens as localised ones.

The HyperText Computing (or Request Based Distributed Computing – RBDC) — is a small extension of http and our conceptions of server, proxy and client. It creates a distributed computing platform that is built from an end-user perspective outwards just as http does for information. It is built on a recognition of the equivalence between http resources and the code that when executed will return the resource. RBDC unifes programming models by applying browser based sandboxed Virtual Machines (VM) to our conception of proxies and servers.

Key benefits of RBDC are ultra-lightweight distributed computing, run-time code mobility, and backwards compatibility with http.

A fuller description of RBDC may be found here.

Http offers location transparency for retrieving data, a small http extension can also provide location transparency for code execution.

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