WebOS provides OS services to wide-area applications, including mechanisms for resource discovery, a global namespace, remote process execution, resource management, authentication, and security. On a single machine, application developers can rely on the local operating system to provide these abstractions. In the wide area, however, application developers are forced to build these abstractions themselves or to do without. This ad-hoc approach wastes programmer effort and system resources. To address these problems, WebOS provides basic operating systems services needed to build applications that are geographically distributed, highly available, incrementally scalable, and dynamically reconfiguring. An application that demonstrates the utility of WebOS is Rent-A-Server, a web server capable of dynamically replicating itself geographically in response to client access patterns.
WebOS began at the University of California, Berkeley in 1996 as part of the Network of Workstaions project. It was completed in 1998 with the NOW finale. Related efforts continue by project members at Duke University (ISSG), the University of Texas at Austin (Beyond Browsers), and the University of Washington. In addition, all three universities are collaborating on the Active Names work that grew out of WebOS.
|Overview||A brief description of the project and its goals.|
|Publications||More detailed descriptions of system architecture.|
|People||Contact information for group members.|
|Related Links||Web resources relevant to our work.|
|News||Latest WebOS news and information.|