Authors: Kris Bubendorfer, John H. Hine
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Load distribution seeks to improve the performance of a distributed system by allocating the workload amongst a set of cooperating hosts. Over the years a diverse collection of approaches for a variety of systems have been proposed. To assist the understanding of these approaches this paper presents a new classification method for load distribution systems that emphasises the separation of policy and mechanism components. The method clearly highlights a system's essential features in a way that supports analysis and comparison of different systems.
The classification identifies three key policy decisions: participation, location and candidate selection; and three key mechanisms: transfer, load metric and load communication. The paper analyses each of these presenting examples from existing systems, showing how the individual components relate to overall designs.
Key words: load distribution, classification.