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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Configuration management using objects and constraints Coatta, Terry


Distributed programming techniques have transformed applications into federations of cooperating semi-autonomous components. Complex interactions between these components create complex interdependencies which are quickly outstripping the capacity of human systems managers. Adding configuration management features to an application’s components reduces the flexibility and portability of those components. This thesis develops a new model of configuration management designed to address these issues. To respond to the wide variety of situations in which configuration management is required, the model is universal, addressing with one formalism many different types of configuration management tasks. In order to reduce reliance on human systems managers, the model describes configuration management as an active process carried out by the computer itself. Finally, as the need for automated configuration management is most acute in distributed systems, the model provides for the distribution of configuration management activities. This new model of configuration management is the basis for the design of a new configuration management tool, the Raven Configuration Management System (RCMS). RCMS provides an environment in which configuration management is handled orthogonally to the task of programming individual components. RCMS allows a programmer to group related components together and specify rules which govern their interactions. RCMS combines object-oriented structuring with declarative programming to produce a system which provides improved reliability and performance in the presence of an evolving environment. The core of RCMS is a new configuration programming language called the Raven Configuration Language (RCL). This thesis describes the implementation of RCMSIRCL. This implementation demonstrates that the language constructs of RCL can be performed with acceptable efficiency, and it establishes the sort of services required to implement a universal, active, and distributed configuration management system. Finally, this thesis discusses several interesting implementation techniques that address particular problems which arose during the implementation of RCMS/RCL.

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