When a server is called, there are a number of choices as to how the
global state of the server program is maintained:
The consequence of choosing the first mechanism rather than the last
two is that concurrent access to the server may result in interleaved
changes to the global state. This may require special mechanisms
separate from the RPC system to allow the programmer control over this
One solution is to wrap up all servers as monitor. Another extreme is
that taken by Sun RPC: It constrains the programmer to insure that all
calls are idempotent. This means that if a call is repeated the server
returns the same result. This can only be the case if all calls are
cast in a form that identifies all the state they refer to, and that
servers are stateless. This does have one advantage, which is that
crashes of server are of no concern to the programmer (apart from for
availability/performance reasons). However, it can lead to unnatural
The dynamic server approach can be made to perform well if some
lightweight process mechanism is provided [e.g. MACH threads]. In this
type of system, it is possible to have concurrent server processes
without creating/destroying the full context associated with normal
The server may be ;SPM_quot;static;SPM_quot;. It may persist through all the calls from
all its different clients. Any global state changed by calls may
affect other calls.
It may be ;SPM_quot;dynamic;SPM_quot;. it may be created to service each call, and
then evaporate after each and every call, usually losing any accumulated
state. This approach was taken by
the Xerox Courier system, for instance.
It may be ;SPM_quot;static;SPM_quot;, but only service calls from a single client.
When a client first calls the server, a new instance is created. This
persists until the client indicates its last call, or is destroyed.