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Decentralising Distributed Systems Administration

Christine Hogan - Synopsys, Inc.
Aoife Cox - Lockheed-Martin, Inc.
Tim Hunter - Synopsys, Inc.


Nowadays, system administration most often involves maintaining a collection of distributed, interoperating machines. The manner in which this task is carried out, however, is usually more reminiscent of a centralised computing model, with a small number of machines playing host to all of the critical system services, and constituting common failure points for the entire distributed system. In this paper, we argue that the adoption of a distributed approach to administration of these systems is not only more natural, but can also be shown to have many practical benefits for the system administrator. In particular, we show, by example, how distributed object technology, as reflected in the CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) standard, can be used to construct a distributed administration framework, tying together services and servers on many different nodes, bringing some of the advantages of distributed systems to the systems administrator.

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