The patent's assignee for patent number 8645542 is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "a) Basic Terminology:
"Disk drive: provide computer host system with block data through special cable access such as IDE or SCSI cable depends on type of disk drive.
"SAN: a storage system comprises one or multi-disk drives and provides computer host system with block data through fiber optical for fiber channel accessing or Ethernet cable for TCP/UDP/IP accessing.
"NAS: a dedicated storage system, which comprises one or multiple disk drives and configured to provide specialized file system services to end user system through network so that the end user system can provide service such as file service, web service, video service etc. based on the file system that looks like a local mounted file system on the end user's system, yet it is actually provided by the NAS.
"b) The Traditional Server:
"Currently there are two types of servers on the market one is SMP based and another is MPP based.
"SMP Based Server:
"This type of system has one operating system (OS) running on top of multiple processors (CPU). Each processor may need to compete certain system resources with other processor in order to perform a task. Therefore, it may introduce certain delay for each processor to execute a task.
"MPP Based Server:
"Other conventional servers utilize multi-node massively parallel processor (MPP) machines including a clustering together of processors that do not share resources such as memory (i.e., each CPU has its own memory). Each processor has its own operating system (OS) or part of OS. Though the CPUS do not share common memory, the node may commonly support a distributed file system on top of a group of nodes, wherein the contents are stored on the file system. This requires complex coordination between the nodes through intra-node communication channel. Hence, this will introduce delay in term of task executing by a processor. Even there is MPP clustering system do not support distributed file system, each processor on the system often still support coordinate each other to perform a portion of the task.
"All of these types of servers are very expensive and geometrically limited in a centralized location. In addition, the current the servers on internet such as web server, proxy server, and web cache server are not intelligent enough such that they do not provide automatic fault handling hence they do not have the concept of virtual server.
"While these servers may still serve different computational purpose, there are many tasks, which these server may not perform efficiently such as deliver video on internet etc, deliver the block data to host etc cross corporate intra-net and internet. There is, therefore, a need for powerful and inexpensive server, which can distribute the computing power cross intra-net or internet, provides scalable capacity, high performance, yet still provide intelligent automatic fault handling, and security etc."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "The distributed intelligent virtual server will consist at least one distribution control station and more than one actual server units. This forms a virtual server pool by connecting distribution control station, multiple actual server units, and client system through routers/switches. (See FIG. 1A) these server units can either be individual NAS, SAN, PC, or any form of physical computer units such as midrange or mainframe computer. The distributed virtual server will be managed and controlled by the software infrastructure created by this invention, which is running mainly on distribution control station and part of it will run on each individual server units. (See FIG. 2A for the layered software infrastructure). The invented intelligent virtual server supports and manifests the following features:
"The distribution control station will accept requests from clients and assign them to each individual server unit for service. After a client is assigned to a server unit by distribution control station, the server unit will serve the client directly without interference of the distribution control station. Since each server units does not share resources such as memory, system buses, networking card, and IO control card, the throughput will be higher than the conventional SMP and MPP server.
"The virtual server does not limited by the geometry location like SMP or MPP clustering system does. Each individual server units such as NAS, SAN box could be in a place of a rack mounted cabinet, in a room, or even crossing the different regions and continentals, depending on the business's needs.
"The virtual server is more fault tolerant than the conventional server due to it has more individual operated network card and IO control card on each server units. Therefore, when a fault occurred on an individual network card or IO control card on a server unit, the rest of server units on the virtual server system still can server the majority client requests. In addition, distribution control station can provide the automatic fault handling by replacing a fault server unit with a hot spare server unit for continue operation.
"The capacity of the virtual server can be scale up by dynamically adding more server units without interrupt the operation of the virtual server. The scalability of the virtual server can meet the ever increasing demand from huge number of clients.
"Due to the virtual server unit do not have geometry limit, it can effectively save the network bandwidth. For example, to overcome the network's bandwidth limitation in delivering the video contents by using NAS, each individual NAS can be placed at different network domain, or crossing the regions and continentals. This will allow a single centralized copy of video content be replicated to these limited NAS first and all massive video requests could be distributed to these distributed NAS for video accessing.
"The cost of such virtual server could be lower than the conventional server due to often the off the shelf, lower cost NAS or SAN or other can be used.
"The example of such distributed virtual server would be distributed video server, virtual SAN, and others. The traditional network management system do not distribute the computing power. The traditional distributed computing is limited in a centralized location such as SMP or MPP system. The current web based servers do not have concept of the virtual server and hence is not intelligent enough to provide automatic fault handling etc."
For additional information on this patent, see: Tsao,
Keywords for this news article include: Software,
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