Back-to-Basics Weekend Reading - Experience with Grapevine: The Growth of a Distributed System

• 140 words

Grapevine was one of the first systems designed to be fully distributed. It was built at the famous Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) Computer Science Laboratory as an exercise in discovering what is needed as the fundamental building blocks of a distributed system; messaging, naming, discovery, location, routing, authentication, encryption, replication, etc. The origins of the system are described in Grapevine: An Exercise in Distributed Computing by researchers who all went on to become grandmasters in distributed computing: Andrew Birrell, Roy Levin, Roger Needham, and Mike Schroeder.

For this weekend’s reading we will use a followup paper that focusses on the learnings with running Grapevine for several years under substantial load.

Experience with Grapevine: The Growth of a Distributed System, Michael Schroeder, Andrew Birrell, and Roger Needham, in ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, vol. 2, no. 1, February 1984.