Service registration and discovery is a problem in distributed computing that has been explored for over thirty years, with [Birrell81]'s Grapevine system the first known implementation -though of
[Birrell81] Birrell, A. et al, Grapevine: An exercise in distributed computing. Comm. ACM 25, 4 (Apr 1982), pp260-274. The first documented directory service; relied on service shutdown to resolve update operations.
[Das02] SWIM: Scalable Weakly-consistent Infection-style Process Group Membership Protocol P2P gossip-style data sharing protocol with random liveness probes to address scalable liveness checking. Ceph uses similar liveness checking.
[Marti02] Marti S. and Krishnam V., Carmen: A Dynamic Service Discovery Architecture,
[Lampson86] Lampson, B. Designing a Global Naming Service. DEC. Distributed; includes an update protocol and the ability to add links to other parts of the tree. Also refers to Xerox Clearinghouse, which apparently shipped.
[Mockapetris88] Mockapetris, P. Development of the domain name system. The history of DNS
[Schroeder84] Schroeder, M.D. et al, Experience with Grapevine: The Growth of a Distributed System. Xerox. Writeup of the experiences of using grapevine, with its eventual consistency and lack of idempotent message delivery called out -along with coverage of operations issues.
[van Renesse08] van Renesse, R. et al, Astrolabe: A Robust and Scalable Technology For Distributed System Monitoring, Management, and Data Mining. ACM Transactions on Computer Systems Grandest P2P management framework to date; the work that earned Werner Vogel his CTO position at Amazon.
[van Steen86] van Steen, M. et al, A Scalable Location Service for Distributed Objects. Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. Probably the first Object Request Broker