Desktop distributed computing allows companies to exploit the idle cycles on pervasive desktop PC systems to increase the available computing power by orders of magnitude (10x - 1000x). Applications are submitted, distributed, and run on a grid of desktop PCs. Since the applications may be malformed, or malicious, the key challenges for a desktop grid are how to 1) control the distributed computing application's resource usage and behavior as it runs on the desktop PC, 2) provide protection for the distributed application's program and its data, and 3) provide a virtualized execution environment, decoupling correct application execution from desktop configuration heterogeneity. We describe the Entropia Virtual Machine, and the solutions it embodies for each of these challenges. We first outline the distinct requirements for a virtual machine in a desktop grid environment, which differ from web-based and hardware-level virtual machines. We then describe how the Entropia Virtual Machine (EVM) uses binary rewriting to solve these problems, guaranteeing the usability and protection of the desktop machine in the face of malicious or malformed application code. We also show that our approach provides security for the applications and their data. We detail how the virtual machine supports a virtualized execution environment. We present performance results for the EVM which show its performance overhead is modest, less than 6% for the applications studied.
The authors of these documents have submitted their reports to this technical report series for the purpose of non-commercial dissemination of scientific work. The reports are copyrighted by the authors, and their existence in electronic format does not imply that the authors have relinquished any rights. You may copy a report for scholarly, non-commercial purposes, such as research or instruction, provided that you agree to respect the author's copyright. For information concerning the use of this document for other than research or instructional purposes, contact the authors. Other information concerning this technical report series can be obtained from the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of California at San Diego, firstname.lastname@example.org.
[ Search ]