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Last update: 2005-09-22

End: 2005-01


user-centric Content Delivery Network

Globule is a research project that aims at developing a user-centric Content Delivery Network (CDN). Such a network consists as an overlay in which the nodes are owned by end users rather than ISPs. In Globule, nodes transparently collaborate to provide strong guarantees with respect to performance and availability of Web documents. To this end, we have developed modules that extend the basic functionality of the Apache2 Web server, and take care of automatically replicating Web documents, and redirecting clients to the replica server that can best service the request.

Globule has been developed for UNIX platforms, and has been tested on Solaris and Linux. The current target of the project is to make Globule easily available for a large group of potential users, in particular those that have Windows machines. Users of Globule on Windows will initially be able to set up a Web site on their own machine of which the content is managed by standard tools such as Word and Netscape Composer.

The main reason for wanting to make Globule available for Windows is that Globule is designed to run on end-user machines. We aim at wide-spread deployment, which then makes the Windows community a better target than the focusing only on the UNIX community. There are many benefits in establishing a reasonable-sized user base, including feedback on bugs, performance, usability, functionality, usefulness, and so on. In general, it will lead to an improvement of Globule as a whole.

Another important reason is that by explicitly focusing on general end users (rather than technical, UNIX-oriented users), we believe that requirements for functional enhancements will be properly prioritized. By concentrating on important user requirements, we should be able to more easily establish a user base, which, in turn contributes to the potential success of the project.

Although the project has its internal goal set to promote the use of Globule and its support for adaptive replication, what would make Globule attractive for (Windows) end users is that they can set up a Web site on their own personal computer, which remains available even when that computer is shut down. Availability while being disconnected, combined with pure local development and maintenance will be the selling point for WinGlob.

Project Globule

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