Linked by Sean Haas on Wed 28th Dec 2011 23:41 UTC
There are two main kernel architectures for large operating systems; monolithic and micro. While these architectures are well thought out, well implemented (usually), and well understood, they have their faults. Mainly, the loading of modules and executables, management of memory, and interfacing between the kernel and software cause these architectures to be vastly complex. With this complexity comes a loss of speed and increased difficulty for the developer. There are other kernel architectures, such as the exokernel, that are vastly different from traditional architectures, but they still have performance issues caused by userland processes.