Software development in distributed computation is complicated by the
extra overhead of communication between connected, dispersed hosts in
dynamically changing, multiple administrative domains. Many disparate
technologies exist for trust management, authentication, secure
communication channels, and service discovery, but composing all of
these elements into a single system can outweigh principal development
The NYU Disco Switchboard consolidates these connectivity issues into
a single convenient, extensible architecture, providing an abstraction
for managing secure, host-pair communication with connection
monitoring facilities. Switchboard extends the secure authenticated
communication channel abstraction provided by standard interfaces such
as SSL/TLS with mechanisms to support trust management, key sharing,
service discovery, and connection liveness and monitoring.
We present an extensible architecture which is particularly useful in
dynamically changing, distributed coalition environments.
Applications that utilize Switchboard benefit from the availability of
authentication, trust management, cryptography, and discovery, while
retaining the simplicity of a common interface.