The University of Muenster has been developing the Real-Time Framework (RTF), a novel middleware technology for a high-level development of scalable real-time online services through a variety of parallelization and distribution techniques. RTF is implemented as a cross-platform C++ library and embedded into the service-oriented architecture of the edutain@grid project (FP6) and the software-defined networking architecture of the OFERTIE project (FP7). It enables real-time services to adapt themselves during runtime to an increased/decreased user demand and preserve QoS by adding resources transparently for the users. The integrated monitoring and controlling facilities offer an open interface for the runtime resource management of ROIA services.
More detailed information about the RTF and the edutain@grid project can be found under:
- Information Material on the RTF including development tutorial and description of high-level concepts
- RTF as part of edutain@grid
The RTF will revolutionize the development of real-time, highly interactive Internet application services. In particular, following novel features are supported:
- High-level development of scalable real-time interactive applications.
- Scaling interactive real-time applications like online games through a variety of parallelization and distribution techniques.
- Monitoring and controlling of real-time applications in service-oriented architectures.
- Seamless experience for services running on multiple resources.
- Service adaptation during runtime to a changing user demand.
- Preserving QoS by adding resources transparently for consumers.
- Integrated mechanisms for trust and security (authentication, encryption, etc.).
Added Value for Application Developer
Edutain@Grid provides the Real-Time Framework (RTF) to application developers as a C++ library to efficiently design the network and application distribution aspects within the ROIA development. RTF's integrated services enable developers to create ROIA on a high level of abstraction which hides the distributed and dynamic nature of applications, as well as the resource management and deployment aspects of the underlying infrastructure (Grid). The high level of abstraction allows RTF to redistribute ROIA during runtime and transparently monitor their real-time metrics.
RTF provides to the application developer:
- An automated serialization mechanism, which liberates the developer from the details of network programming.
- A highly efficient communication protocol implementation over TCP/UDP optimized with respect to the low-latency and low-overhead requirements of ROIA. This implementation is able to transparently redirect communication endpoints to a new resource, if, e.g., parts of the ROIA are relocated to a new grid resource for load-balancing reasons.
- A single API for using different parallelization approaches: zoning, instancing, replication and their combinations, for a scalable multi-server implementation of ROIA.
- A fully automated distribution management, synchronization and parallelization of the ROIA update processing.
- A transparent monitoring of common ROIA metrics that is used by the management and business layer of the edutain@grid system.
Added Value for End-User
- The use of RTF makes the distribution of the application over multiple servers transparent for the users, e.g., online gamers and participants of e-learning simulations.
- Security is guaranteed by the authentication and encryption of communication connection.
- RTF tolerates the use of non-encrypted and non-reliable communication protocols.