Technical Report Number
Overlay hosting systems such as PlanetLab, and cloud computing environments such as Amazon’s EC2, provide shared infrastructures within which new applications can be developed and deployed on a global scale. This paper ex-plores how systems of this sort can be used to enable ad-vanced network services and sophisticated applications that use those services to enhance performance and provide a high quality user experience. Specifically, we investigate how advanced overlay hosting environments can be used to provide network services that enable scalable virtual world applications and other large-scale distributed applications requiring consistent, real-time performance. We propose a novel network architecture called Forest built around per-session tree-structured communication channels that we call comtrees. Comtrees are provisioned and support both unicast and multicast packet delivery. The multicast mechanism is designed to be highly scalable and light-weight enough to support the rapid changes to multicast subscriptions needed for efficient support of state updates within virtual worlds. We evaluate performance using a combination of analysis and experimental measurement of a partial system prototype that supports fully functional distributed game sessions. Our results provide the data needed to enable accurate projections of performance for a variety of session and system configurations.
Haitjema, Mart; Patney, Ritun; Turner, Jon; Wiseman, Charlie; and DeHart, John, "Performance-Engineered Network Overlays for High Quality Interaction in Virtual Worlds" Report Number: wucse-2009-18 (2009). All Computer Science and Engineering Research.