Date of Award

6-2010

Degree Name

MS in Computer Science

Department

Computer Science

Advisor

Michael Haungs

Abstract

Content hosted on the Internet must appear robust and reliable to clients relying on such content. As more clients come to rely on content from a source, that source can be subjected to high levels of load. There are a number of solutions, collectively called load balancers, which try to solve the load problem through various means. All of these solutions are workarounds for dealing with problems inherent in the medium by which content is served thereby limiting their effectiveness. HTTP, or Hypertext Transport Protocol, is the dominant mechanism behind hosting content on the Internet through websites. The entirety of the Internet has changed drastically over its history, with the invention of new protocols, distribution methods, and technological improvements. However, HTTP has undergone only three versions since its inception in 1991, and all three versions serve content as a text stream that cannot be interrupted to allow for load balancing decisions. We propose a solution that takes existing portions of HTTP, augments them, and includes some new features in order to increase usability and management of serving content over the Internet by allowing redirection of content in-stream. This in-stream redirection introduces a new step into the client-server connection where servers can make decisions while continuing to serve content to the client. Load balancing methods can then use the new version of HTTP to make better decisions when applied to multi-server systems making load balancing more robust, with more control over the client-server interaction.

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