Architecture Alternatives for Single System Image
The availability of high-speed networks and increasingly powerful commodity
microprocessors are making the usage of clusters, or networks, of computers
an appealing vehicle for cost effective parallel/dependable computing.
Clusters, built using commodity-of-the-shelf (COTS) hardware components as
well as free, or commonly used, software, are playing a major role in
redefining the concept of supercomputing. In this talk, we focus on the
issues involved in making loosely coupled networked computers transparently
appear and work as a single system. This properly of cluster is popularly
called as "single system image", SSI in short.
A single system image properly of clusters can be created either by
software or/and hardware. In this talk, we focus on techniques for
achieving a single system image by software means-cluster underware (i.e,
at OS kernel level), cluster middleware (i.e., a layer between applications
and operation systems), and application level. We also discuss the use of
these techniques in research and commercial software systems (such as
MOSIX, UnixWare, PARMON, Nimrod, etc.) supporting a single system image. We
bring out merits and demerits of these SSI techniques and conclude the talk
with highlighting possible directions that cluster computing research and
market is heading towards.
Click here to download the Single System
(which is in Powerpoint format).
Proceedings of the 1999 Conference on High Performance Computing on
Hewlett-Packard Systems (HiPer'99), Tromse, Norway, 1999.