Boston Linux & UNIX was originally founded in 1994 as part of The Boston Computer Society. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Building E51.

BLU Discuss list archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Discuss] Whence distributed operating systems?

On 4/21/2016 12:50 AM, Mike Small wrote:
> "Sadly it seems that we now need to either wait for Linux or Windows to
> catch up with the 1980s state of the art in distributed systems (think
> Locus or AFS). What went wrong? Products like DataSynapse?s FabricServer
> look like an interesting attempt to address the problem, at least for
> the Java world, but it feels to me that mainstream operating systems
> designers seem to have lost the plot somewhere along the way."

What went "wrong" is that the author has the expectation that
distributed systems are the be-all, end-all of computing. They're not.
As with any highly specialized tool, distributed systems are great at
some kinds of tasks and mediocre to terrible for everything else.

On 4/21/2016 8:11 AM, Dan Ritter wrote:
> No, because you need to deal with parallelism issues on a single
> server. Pocket computers now have four simultaneously working cores.
> It got really hard for CPUs to get faster -- how long has the state
> of the art hovered around 4GHz -- so the process improvements lead to
> more cores, instead.

Eight cores in some of the flagships, now. My Tab S2 has two quad-core
processors in it, one 1.9GHz and one 1.3GHz.

But yeah, the single system image model is a dead end. The idea is to
scale vertically but the complexity and performance issues with
non-uniform memory and processing architectures scale worse than
linearly. Horizontal scaling typically scales better. The performance
hits are heavily front loaded in the batch/queue mechanisms. Once past
these the job is free to run on all nodes in the pool or cluster
independent of the other nodes' resources.

Rich P.

BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
We also thank MIT for the use of their facilities.

Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS!

Boston Linux & Unix /