An Internet-scale operating system

by Rael Dornfest

David Anderson of SETI@Home and United Devices and John Kubiatowicz of OceanStore propose an Internet-scale operating system (ISOS).

Vision: "Mary's computers are moonlighting for other people. . . . Mary earns a little cash, her files are backed up, and she gets to watch an indie film. All this could happen with an Internet-scale operating system (ISOS) to provide the necessary "glue" to link the processing and storage capabilities of millions of independent computers."

Architecture: Anderson and Kubatowicz advocate a government- or consortium- funded and run centralized core OS for allocation, scheduling, accounting, and process distribution. ISOS clients running on end-user machines manage availability, usage, and job processing.

The Scientific American article, "The Worldwide Computer," provides a nice P2P overview for the uninitiated and a modicum of grist for ongoing Internet Operating System conversations.