IBP-Mail: Controlled Delivery of Large Mail Files

Wael Elwasif, James S. Plank, Micah Beck and Rich Wolski.

NetStore '99: Network Storage Symposium, Internet2, Seattle, WA, October, 1999.

Available via anonymous ftp to cs.utk.edu in:


IBP-Mail is an improvement to the current state of the art in mailing large files over the Internet. It arises from the addition of writable storage to the pool of available Internet resources. With IBP-Mail, a sender registers a large file with an IBP-Mail agent, and stores it into a network storage depot. The sender then mails a pointer to the file to the recipient using the standard SMTP mailing protocol. When the receiver reads the mail message, he or she contacts the agent to discover the file's whereabouts, and then downloads the file. In the meantime, the agent can route the file to a storage depot close to the receiver.

IBP-Mail allows for an efficient transfer of the file from sender to receiver that makes use of the asynchronous nature of mail transactions, does not expend extra spooling resources of the sender or receiver, and utilizes network resources efficiently and safely. In this paper, we detail the current limitations of mail systems, describe the software architecture of IBP-Mail and its current implementation, and give a performance case study.

Currently, IBP-Mail uses network storage servers that are part of the Internet2 Distributed Storage Infrastructure project. It is based on the Internet Backplane Protocol (IBP) that has been developed at the University of Tennessee for the explicit purpose of utilizing network storage to improve application performance and functionality.

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