X-Switch: An Efficient , Multi-User, Multi-Language Web Application Server


  • Mayumbo Nyirenda
  • Hussein Suleman
  • Andrew Maunder
  • Reinhardt van Rooyen




Web application servers, scalability, context switching, process persistence, modularity


Web applications are usually installed on and accessed through a Web server. For security reasons, these Web servers generally provide very few privileges to Web applications, defaulting to executing them in the realm of a guest ac- count. In addition, performance often is a problem as Web applications may need to be reinitialised with each access. Various solutions have been designed to address these security and performance issues, mostly independently of one another, but most have been language or system-specic. The X-Switch system is proposed as an alternative Web application execution environment, with more secure user-based resource management, persistent application interpreters and support for arbitrary languages/interpreters. Thus it provides a general-purpose environment for developing and deploying Web applications. The X-Switch system's experimental results demonstrated that it can achieve a high level of performance. Further- more it was shown that X-Switch can provide functionality matching that of existing Web application servers but with the added benet of multi-user support. Finally the X-Switch system showed that it is feasible to completely separate the deployment platform from the application code, thus ensuring that the developer does not need to modify his/her code to make it compatible with the deployment platform.






Research Papers (general)