commodity computing, communication technologies, CORBA, Microsoft's COM, JavaBeans, commodity architecture, JWORB, Java Web Object Broker
We review the growing power and capability of commodity computing and communication technologies largely driven by commercial distributed information systems. These systems are built from CORBA, Microsoft's COM, JavaBeans, and rapidly advancing Web approaches. One can abstract these to a three-tier model with largely independent clients connected to a distributed network of servers. The latter host various services including object and relational databases and of course parallel and sequential computing. High performance can be obtained by combining concurrency at the middle server tier with optimized parallel back end services. The resultant system combines the needed performance for large-scale HPCC applications with the rich functionality of commodity systems. Further the architecture with distinct interface, server and specialized service implementation layers, naturally allows advances in each area to be easily incorporated. We illustrate how performance can be obtained within a commodity architecture and we propose a middleware integration approach based on JWORB (Java Web Object Broker) multi-protocol server technology. We illustrate our approach on a set of prototype applications in areas such as collaborative systems, support of multidisciplinary interactions, WebFlow based visual metacomputing, WebFlow over Globus, Quantum Monte Carlo and distributed interactive simulations.
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