Enabling service adaptability with versatile anycast

Michal Szymaniak* (Corresponding Author), Guillaume Pierre, Mariana Simons-Nikolova, Maarten van Steen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


We present versatile anycast, which allows a service running on a varying collection of nodes scattered over a wide-area network to present itself to the clients as one running on a single node. Providing a single logical address enables the client-side software to preserve the traditional service access model based on single access points. At the same time, the dynamic composition of anycast groups implemented by versatile anycast enables the server-side service infrastructure to evolve and adapt to changing network conditions. We implement versatile anycast using Mobile IPv6, which decouples the logical addresses of mobile nodes from their physical location. We exploit that decoupling to implement logical service addresses that are not bound to any physical nodes, and employ standard MIPv6 mechanisms to dynamically map each such address onto individual service nodes. Our solution enables a service to transparently hand off clients among the service nodes at the network level while preserving optimal routing between the clients and the service nodes. We demonstrate that the overhead of versatile anycasting is very low. In particular, the client-perceived handoff time is shown to be a linear function of the latencies among the client and the service nodes participating in the handoff.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1837-1863
Number of pages27
JournalConcurrency Computation Practice and Experience
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Anycasting
  • Distributed systems
  • Service adaptation
  • Wide-area handoff


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