The design of protocols for high performance in a networked computing environment
Technological advances in both local area networks and computer processor design have led to multiple computer installations being composed of a much wider range of network devices than previously possible. High bandwidth computer networks may now interconnect large numbers of devices that have different processor architectures and instruction sets, as well as various levels of performance. This thesis is concerned with the merits of such networks and addresses the problem of how the many different types of computers may be integrated to form a unified system. A review of a number of approaches towards the formation of multiple computer .systems includes campus computer networks, configurations of mainframes and examples of distributed computer systems. This study provides an insight into the fundamental principles of this field. The key features of the systems considered in the study are grouped together in a description of a general network structure. Subsequently, the network devices in this structure are classified into three groups, according to their roles and communication requirements. The three-way classification of devices leads to the development of a Triadic Network Model to describe the interactions within and between the three groups. The model's specification of network communication provides the basis for protocols that are well suited to the needs of this computing environment. The thesis covers the principles of the protocols and the details of their implementation in an experimental system. The software tools developed to support the implementation are also described.