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Small, scalable, and efficient, microkernels for highly parallel computers are possible: Cosy as an example

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2 Author(s)
Butenuth, R. ; Paderborn Univ., Germany ; Heiss, H.-U.

Although highly parallel distributed memory computers exist for several years, the operating systems used on them did not fit the requirements very well. Most of them are designed for sequential, shared memory parallel or distributed computers. Examples are Unix on the IBM SP/2 and Mach on the Intel Paragon. This results in poor scalability caused by inefficient communication primitives designed for wide area networks or by waste of resources due to huge kernels (e.g. 8 MB per node are reported for Mach an the Paragon, which is harmful especially in highly parallel systems with hundreds or thousands of nodes. With Cosy (Concurrent Operating System) we have shown that a well structured and carefully designed system can be small (70 Kb for the kernel 372 total memory usage per node), efficient (33 μs for communication), and scalable (applications run efficient on up to 1024 processors)

Published in:

Advances in Parallel and Distributed Computing, 1997. Proceedings

Date of Conference:

19-21 Mar 1997