Towards a Flexible, High-Performance Operating System for Mobile/Cloud Applications
Zhang, Irene Yun
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The convergence of ubiquitous mobile devices, large-scale cloud platforms and pervasive network connectivity have changed the face of modern user applications. Unlike a traditional desktop application, which runs on a single machine and supports a single user, the typical user-facing application today spans numerous mobile devices and cloud servers while supporting large numbers of users. This shift significantly increased the difficulty of building user applications. Programmers must now confront challenges introduced by distributed deployment (e.g., partial failures), new mobile/cloud application features (e.g., reactivity), and new mobile/cloud requirements (e.g., scalability). This thesis proposes a new type of mobile/cloud operating system designed to meet the evolving needs of modern applications. Mobile/cloud applications are the standard applications of the future; thus, they deserve a first-class operating system that simplifies their development and run-time management. Our key contribution is the design, implementation and evaluation of three systems that together form the basis for a new mobile/cloud operating system: (1) Sapphire, a new distributed run-time and process management system, (2) Diamond, a new distributed memory management system, and (3) TAPIR, a new distributed storage system. Each system introduces new operating systems abstractions and mechanisms designed to eliminate the challenges and simplify the development of mobile/cloud applications. We demonstrate that, like operating systems of the past, these systems make it easier for programmers to build bigger and more complex applications.