Assignment 4 Parallel file transfer application


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CMPE 156/
Programming Assignment 4
The problem in this assignment is to develop the client and server sides of an application that
enables a client to download “chunks” of a file from multiple servers (for example, ftp mirrors)
distributed over the Internet, and assemble the chunks to form the complete file. When the server
is the bottleneck, this can speed up the download of a large file over normal ftp.
The problem in this assignment is to develop the same parallel file transfer application of the last
assignment, using UDP sockets instead of TCP. The application should enable a client to
download “chunks” of a file from multiple servers (for example, ftp mirrors) distributed over the
Internet, and assemble the chunks to form the complete file. This application has two key
differences with the one that used TCP.
1. Each chunk must be transferred from a server to the client using UDP as the transportlayer protocol. Because the chunks must be transferred reliably, this means that you need
to implement a reliable application-layer protocol over UDP. The TFTP protocol is a
good example of such an application-layer protocol. TFTP uses the stop-and-wait
protocol with a retransmission timer for reliability, and block-level sequence numbers to
maintain order. Some of the more complex functions of TCP, such as flow control,
congestion control and round-trip delay estimation are not required to be supported.
2. The server must support concurrent transfers of chunks of a file to the same client or to
different clients. This requires implementing a scheme similar to that employed by
TFTP, where the server receives the initial request on a well-known UDP port but opens
a separate UDP port for transferring data from/to each client.
To test this application, you will have a single client process on your machine transferring data
from multiple servers. The design should allow the server processes to run on any machine on
the Internet, although for testing you can run several server processes on the same machine. The
client will obtain the contact information for the servers from a text file server-info.text that lists
the IPv4 addresses of the server hosts and the corresponding server port numbers. The port
numbers can be the same if the server processes run on different machines. Otherwise, the only
way to distinguish multiple server processes on the same machine is to use different port
numbers. 4321 4321 5555
The IP address represents “localhost,” indicating that the server is on the local
machine. You should start each copy of the server using the command line.
./myserver <port-number>
where the argument is its listening port number. The client process is started with the command
./myclient <server-info.txt> <num-chunks> <filename>
The client should first contact one of the servers listed in <server-info.text> and obtain the size of
the file, named <filename>, to be transferred. The filename can contain a directory path. The
client should then connect the number of servers as specified in the <num-chunks> argument and
transfer a chunk of the file from each server. Each chunk is specified by a starting offset and a
chunk size. The client must calculate these parameters by dividing the size of the file by the
number of connections. The client must then initiate the connections and transfer each chunk
concurrently. When all the chunks have been received, it should assemble them into the
complete file and save it on disk (so that you can do diff with the original file).
When the number of chunks <num-chunks> is larger than the number of entries in serverinfo.text, the client process needs to transfer more than one chunk from the same server. For
example, if the number of chunks is 8, and the number of entries in server-info.text is only 6, you
need to transfer two chunks in parallel from two of the servers, and one chunk each from the
remaining four servers.
You should not assume that each chunk will fit within a single UDP segment, so your application
layer protocol must deal with breaking a chunk into multiple UDP segments for transmission and
re-assembling the UDP segments into the original chunk on the receive side.
• The server must be designed to support concurrent transfers to either the same client or
different clients in parallel.
• You need to specify the application protocol, including the commands, responses,
message formats, etc., to be used by the client and server to achieve the desired
functionality. At a minimum, the client needs to check if a certain file exists at the
server and get its size. The client should also be able to initiate the transfer of a chunk
of the file, identified by a starting offset and chunk size. You should also take care of
any error scenarios that can arise in the client-server interactions.
• If one of the selected servers happens to be unreachable or malfunctions, the client
must use an alternate server to transfer the corresponding chunk. If all the servers in
server-info.text are already in use, the client must start the transfer of a new chunk
from one of the servers that is currently performing a transfer.
• The server design must be robust against errors and network failures. The application
should not fail unless the servers listed in server-info.text have all failed.
• The server should have a number of files available to serve (at least 6). The files can be
limited to text files, and their total sizes can be limited to 100 Kbytes. These files are to
be placed in the same directory where the server program is.
What to submit?
You must submit all the files in a single compressed tar file (with tar.gz extension). The files
should include
1. All source code necessary to build and run the client and server.
2. A README file including your name and a list of files in the submission with a brief
description of each. If your code does not work completely, explain what works and
what doesn’t or has not been tested.
3. A Makefile that can be used to build the client and server binaries.
4. Documentation of your design in plain text or pdf. Do not include any Microsoft Word
files. The documentation should describe the internal design of your client and server
5. Including in the design document, a specification of the application-layer protocol,
describing the handshakes involved, message formats, error handling, etc.
6. Organize the files into directories (src, bin, doc, etc.)
Each submission will be tested to make sure it works properly and can deal with errors. Grades
are allocated using the following guidelines:
Basic functionality 20%
Basic testing 20%
Dealing with errors 30%
Documentation 15%
Style/Code structure, etc. 15%
Note that 30% of the grade will be based on how well your code deals with errors. Good
practices include checking all system calls for errors and avoiding unsafe situations such as a
buffer overflow.


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