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72 Hours to DonutLab: A PlanetLab with No Center
Stiegler, Mar; Miller, Mark S.; Stanley, Terry
Keyword(s): security; distributed computing; PlanetLab; Agoric Computing
Abstract: PlanetLab [Peterson02] has been developed as a platform for experimenting with globally distributed computing systems. The DonutLab is a conceptual descendant of PlanetLab, intended to share many of PlanetLab's merits while incorporating a number of significant enhancements for security, ease of use, reliability, and persistence. DonutLab was built using the Promise Pipelining Object-Capability (PPOC) programming language E. The primary goal was not merely to demonstrate a direction of evolution for PlanetLab; rather, it was to demonstrate the power of PPOC for building secure distributed systems. To showcase this power, DonutLab was built over a 3-day weekend, in 72 hours. Here we investigate the successes and failures of the 72-hour effort, the nature of the DonutLab, and the features of PPOC that enable the high-speed construction of such easy to use yet secure systems.
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