Effecting Runtime Reconfiguration in Managed Execution Environments

Griffith, Rean; Valetto, Giuseppe; Kaiser, Gail E.

Managed execution environments such as Microsoftäó»s Common Language Runtime (CLR) and Sun Microsystemsäó» Java Virtual Machine (JVM) provide a number of services äóñ including but not limited to application isolation, security sandboxing, garbage collection and structured exception handling äóñ that are aimed primarily at enhancing the robustness of managed applications. However, none of these services directly enables performing reconfigurations, repairs or diagnostics on the managed applications and/or its constituent subsystems and components. In this paper we examine how the facilities of a managed execution environment can be leveraged to support runtime system adaptations, such as reconfigurations and repairs. We describe an adaptation framework we have developed, which uses these facilities to dynamically attach/detach an engine capable of performing reconfigurations and repairs on a target system while it executes. Our adaptation framework is lightweight, and transparent to the application and the managed execution environment: it does not require recompilation of the application nor specially compiled versions of the managed execution runtime. Our prototype was implemented for the CLR. To evaluate our framework beyond toy examples, we searched on SourceForge for potential target systems already implemented on the CLR that might benefit from runtime adaptation. We report on our experience using our prototype to effect runtime reconfigurations in a system that was developed and is in use by others: the Alchemi enterprise Grid Computing System developed at the University of Melbourne, Australia.



More About This Work

Academic Units
Computer Science
Department of Computer Science, Columbia University
Columbia University Computer Science Technical Reports, CUCS-045-05
Published Here
April 21, 2011