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Implementing Global Memory Management in a Workstation Cluster

By Michael Feeley, William E. Morgan, Frederic H. Pighin, Anna R. Karlin, Henry M. Levy and Chandramohan A. Thekkath


Advances in network and processor technology have greatly changed the communication and computational power of local-area workstation clusters. However, operating systems still treat workstation clusters as a collection of loosely-connected processors, where each workstation acts as an autonomous and independent agent. This operating system structure makes it difficult to exploit the characteristics of current clusters, such as low-latency communication, huge primary memories, and high-speed processors, in order to improve the performance of cluster applications. This paper describes the design and implementation of global memory management in a workstation cluster. Our objective is to use a single, unified, but distributed memory management algorithm at the lowest level of the operating system. By managing memory globally at this level, all system- and higher-level software, including VM, file systems, transaction systems, and user applications, can benefit from available cluster memo..

Year: 1995
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