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GENESIS: an efficient, transparent and easy to use cluster operating system
journal contributionposted on 2002-01-01, 00:00 authored by Andrzej GoscinskiAndrzej Goscinski, Michael HobbsMichael Hobbs, Jacqueline Silcock
Present operating systems are not built to support parallel computing––they do not provide services to manage parallelism, i.e., to globally manage parallel processes and computational resources. The cluster operating environments that are used to assist the execution of parallel applications do not provide support for both programming paradigms, message passing (MP) or distributed shared memory (DSM)––they are mainly offered as separate components implemented at the user level as library and independent server processes. Due to poor operating systems users must deal with clusters as a set of independent computers rather than to see this cluster as a single powerful computer. A single system image (SSI) of the cluster is not offered to users. There is a need for an operating system for clusters. We claim and demonstrate in this paper that it is possible to develop a cluster operating system that is able to efficiently manage parallelism; use cluster resources efficiently; support MP in the form of standard MP and PVM, and DSM; offer SSI; and make it easy to use. We show that to achieve these aims this operating system should inherit many features of a distributed operating system and provide new services which address the needs of parallel processes, cluster's resources, and application developers. In order to substantiate the claim the first version of a cluster operating system managing parallelism and offering SSI, called GENESIS, has been developed.