Parallel Communication in a Large Distributed Environment

M. Satyanarayanan and Ellen H. Siegel


In this paper we describe the evolution of MultiRPC, a parallel remote procedure call mechanism implemented in Unix. Parallelism is obtained from the concurrency of processing on servers and from the overlapping of retransmissions and timeouts. Each of the parallel calls retains the semantics and functionality of our standard remote procedure calls. The underlying communication medium need not support multicast or broadcast transmissions. We derive an analytic model of the system and validate it. Our experimental observations demonstrate the feasibility of using MultiRPC to contact up to 100 servers in parallel.