Indexed on: 01 Oct '04Published on: 01 Oct '04Published in: Cluster Computing
An increasing number of applications are being developed using Distributed Object Computing (DOC) middleware, such as CORBA. Many of these applications require the underlying middleware, operating systems, and networks to provide dependable end-to-end Quality of Service (QoS) support to enhance their efficiency, predictability, scalability, and reliability. The Object Management Group (OMG), which standardizes CORBA, has addressed many of these application requirements individually in the Real-Time CORBA (RT-CORBA) and Fault-Tolerant CORBA (FT-CORBA) specifications. Though the implementations of RT-CORBA are suitable for mission-critical commercial or military distributed Real-Time and Embedded (DRE) systems, the usage of FT-CORBA with RT-CORBA implementations are not yet suitable for systems that have stringent simultaneous dependability and predictability requirements.This paper provides three contributions to the study and evaluation of dependable CORBA middleware for performance-sensitive DRE systems. First, we provide an overview of FT-CORBA and illustrate the sources of unpredictability associated with conventional FT-CORBA implementations. Second, we discuss the QoS requirements of an important class of mission-critical DRE systems to show how these requirements are not well served by FT-CORBA today. Finally, we empirically evaluate new dependability strategies for FT-CORBA that can help make the use of DOC middleware for mission-critical DRE systems a reality.