Intel Research Seminar

DATE: Thursday, August 22, 2002
TIME: Noon - 1:30 pm
PLACE: Intel Seminar (417 S. Craig Street - 3rd Floor)

James S. Plank & Micah Beck
U. of Tennessee

Message Logistical Networking and the Network Storage Stack


This talk will detail the research program at the Logistical Computing and Internetwork Laboratory at the University of Tennessee. Specifically, we will detail our novel approach to network storage, which adheres to end-to-end design principles, and thus promises the ability to insert writable storage into the network as a scalable, shared resource. We term the paradigm of utilizing network storage to augment communication in the network "logistical networking."

Using the IP stack as our guide, we have developed a Network Storage Stack as a way for applications to make use of network storage. The central pieces of that stack are:

  • The Internet Backplane Protocol (IBP), for allocation and basic storage operation.
  • The exNode, for aggregation of multiple allocations.
  • The L-Bone for storage server discovery and network proximity querying.
  • The Logistical Runtime System (LoRS), for providing strong storage properties from the weak guarantees of IBP allocations.

We will describe the stack in detail, present applications that make use of it, and give performance results. We will also demonstrate "Video IBPster," an application that stores and plays video files from faulty, transient, wide-area network storage depots. We will conclude with future directions.


James S. Plank received his B.S. from Yale University in 1988 and his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1993. He is currently an associate professor in the Computer Science department at the University of Tennessee. His research interests are in fault-tolerance, checkpointing, and network storage. He is a member of the IEEE Computer Society.

Micah Beck received has been a contributor to research ranging from Parallel and Distributed Systems to Languages and Compilers to Advanced Internetworking and Storage Architecture. He began his career doing research in distributed operating systems at Bell Laboratories and received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University (1992) in the area of parallelizing compilers. He then joined the faculty of the Computer Science Department at the University of Tennessee, where he is currently an Associate Professor working in distributed high performance computing, networking and storage; he is also a Director of the Logistical Computing and Internetworking Laboratory. An active participant in the Internet2 project, he has since 1997 led their Distributed Storage Infrastructure project, defining an advanced Content Distribution model to enable edge processing. In 2000 he joined with other members of this project drawn from industry and academia to found Lokomo Systems and he currently serves as Chief Scientist of that company.

For Further Seminar Info:
Contact Kim Kaan, 412-605-1203, or visit

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