Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 19th Mar 2010 13:00 UTC, submitted by Jim Lynch
General Development "With chip makers continuing to increase the number of cores they include on each new generation of their processors, perhaps it's time to rethink the basic architecture of today's operating systems, suggested Dave Probert, a kernel architect within the Windows core operating systems division at Microsoft."
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Nicholas Blachford
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It's too bad that no one ever thought about writing an operating system that was specifically designed for multiple processors, that was pervasively multi-threaded and was super responsive under load. That would Be a great idea. It would be neat, too, if there were a free (as in beer and speech) version that anyone could download and try out. What might a name for an operating system like that be? Maybe something vaguely poetic, implying nature, simplicity and compactness...

Haiku was designed for relatively few cores, it'll hit scaling problems as the number of cores increase and will have no idea how to deal with non cache-coherent cache systems.

I know of only one "real" OS designed to solve this: DragonFly BSD.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Nicholas Blachford Member since:

To clarify my previous point, the article is abut scaling beyond the relatively small numbers of cores we have now and going into the so called "many-core" area.

The hardware is also likely to end up quite different from what we have now. Today the systems are kept in sync by cache coherence, however this itself has scaling problems so in the future we'll see non cache-coherent systems, Intel's single chip cloud is an example.

Desktop OSs simply aren't designed for this sort of design and
as DragonFly BSD is the only one I'm aware of working on this for the desktop/small server. There are other OSs but they are big iron or research OSs (e.g. Barrelfish).

Interestingly BeOS/Haiku does have one of the key elements in place already - the API uses message passing. So it's probably a lot better placed for future systems than most OSs.

What would be really interesting is if you were to combine the DragonFly kernel with the Haiku user land. That'd give you a highly scalable, truly desktop OS.

Reply Parent Score: 2