OpenDist - Incremental Software Distribution
Peter W. Osel and Wilfried Gnsheimer
Siemens AG, Mnchen, Germany
OpenDist provides efficient procedures and tools to
synchronize our software file servers. This simple goal becomes
challenging because of the size and complexity of supported
software, the diversity of platforms, and because of network
Our current solution is based on rdist(1) . However, it
is not possible anymore to synchronize file servers nightly,
because it takes several days just to compare distant servers.
We have analyzed the update process to find bottlenecks in
the current solution. We measured the effects of network
bandwidth and latency on rdist. We created statistics on the
number of files and file sizes within all software packages.
We found that not only the line speed, but also the line
delay contributes substantially to the overall update time. Our
measurements revealed that adding a compression mode to rdist
would not have solved our problem, so we decided to look for a
We have compiled a list of requirements for evaluating
software distribution solutions. Based on these requirements, we
evaluated both commercial and freely available tools. None of
the tools fulfilled our most important requirements, so we
implemented our own solution.
In the following we will describe the overall architecture
of the toolset and present performance figures for the
distribution engine that replaces rdist. The results of the
prototype implementation are promising. We conclude with a
description of the next steps for enhancing the OpenDist toolset.
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