38.Networking by John G. Webster (Editor)

By John G. Webster (Editor)

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The directory server provides operations such as directory and file creation and deletion, for manipulating directories and file names. The client application program interface (client API, usually in the form of a process or a group of processes) runs on each client computer and provides a uniform user-level interface for accessing file servers. In this section we will present one of the most important achievement of the 1980s, which is still in use now, the Network File System, known as NFS, developed based on the client-server model.

CLIENT–SERVER SYSTEMS Send() When remote procedure calls are used a client interacts with a server by means of a call statement Send() Timeout Send() service_name (value_args, result_args) Receive() Send() Timeout Send() Receive() Send() Timeout (a) 439 (b) Figure 6. Unreliable (a) and reliable (b) message passing primitives. send(dest, src, buffer). Sends a request and gets a response; it combines the previous client’s send to the server with a receive to get the server’s response. get_request(client, buffer).

Different catastrophic events, such as a computer crash or a communication system failure can happen in a distributed computing system. These can cause either a requesting message being lost in the network, a response message being lost or delayed in transit, or the responding computer ‘‘dying’’ or becoming unreachable. Moreover, messages can be duplicated, or delivered out of order. The primitives discussed previously cannot cope with these problems. These are called unreliable primitives. The unreliable primitive send merely puts a message on the network.

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