ZHANG Yaoxue, DUAN Sijing, ZHANG Deyu, REN Ju. Transparent Computing: Development and Current Status[J]. Chinese Journal of Electronics, 2020, 29(5): 793-811. doi: 10.1049/cje.2020.07.001
Citation: ZHANG Yaoxue, DUAN Sijing, ZHANG Deyu, REN Ju. Transparent Computing: Development and Current Status[J]. Chinese Journal of Electronics, 2020, 29(5): 793-811. doi: 10.1049/cje.2020.07.001

Transparent Computing: Development and Current Status

doi: 10.1049/cje.2020.07.001
Funds:  This work is supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (No.2019YFA0706403), 111 Project (No.B18059), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.61702561), and the Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province (No.2020JJ5774).
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  • Corresponding author: ZHANG Deyu (corresponding author) was born in 1987. He received the B.S. degree in communication engineering from PLA Information Engineering University, Zhengzhou, China, in 2005, the M.S. degree in communication engineering from Central South University, Changsha, China, in 2012, and the Ph.D. degree in computer science from Central South University. From 2014 to 2016, he was a Visiting Scholar with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo, ON, Canada. He is currently an Associate Professor with the School of Computer Science and Engineering. His current research interests include stochastic resource allocation in wireless sensor networks and cloud radio access networks, edge computing, and transparent computing. (Email:zdy876@csu.edu.cn)
  • Received Date: 2020-03-31
  • Rev Recd Date: 2020-06-13
  • Publish Date: 2020-09-10
  • Current terminal devices, such as Personal computers (PCs), diskless workstation, mobile terminals and embedded Internet of things (IoT) devices, are facing several challenges, including limited computing capabilities and storage resources, complex maintenance and management of the software and data, as well as secure service provisioning. Facing these challenges, Cloud computing (CC) and Edge computing (EC) encourage the terminal devices to shift compute-intensive works to the cloud servers or edge nodes. Different from CC and EC, Transparent computing (TC) is a novel user-centric computing paradigm in which the hardware and software are separated in different places. Specificaly, all the software, including Operating systems (OSes), applications programs and management tools, are deposited on the servers and transmitted on demand to terminal devices in a transparent way, while the computation is performed on terminals. In this article, we give a broad survey on transparent computing about the development and current status and compare the differences with CC and EC. To realize the provisioning of the cross-platform service, TC shields hardware differences of heterogeneous devices and builds standardized hardware and software interfaces. From the perspective of security, TC entails high-level security mechanisms and the Meta OS can detect malware and OS-level attacks. Specifically, we first review the development courses of network computing paradigms and the motivation of TC. Then, we present a comparison of several emerging computing paradigms and TC from three perspectives, i.e., virtualization, location for computing, and location for storage. We also show the basic architecture of TC, development process, current status, and key enabling technologies of TC for PCs and lightweight terminals. Lastly, several new challenges and future research directions are indicated to inspire continuous investigations. We believe that this survey can help readers to obtain complete information about TC.
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