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Distributed Operating System

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In this article, we have explored the idea of Distributed Operating System in depth along with internal working details, different types and examples.

Table of contents:

  1. Introduction to Distributed Operating System
  2. Functioning of Distributed Operating Systems
  3. Architecture of Distributed Operating System
  4. Types of Distributed Operating System
  5. Examples of Distributed Operating Systems
  6. Characteristics of Distributed Operating System
  7. Applications of Distributed Operating Systems
  8. Differences between Distributed OS and other operating systems
  9. Advantages of Distributed Operating System
  10. Disadvantages of Distributed Operating System

Introduction to Distributed Operating System

Distributed systems are becoming increasingly prevalent as a result of recent technical breakthroughs and advancements. Many of the world's most successful companies have developed complex distributed systems that can handle large numbers of requirements and upgrade without outage.

An operating system (OS) is a group of software applications that manage computer hardware components and offer common functions to computer applications. It is the fundamental software that enables a computer system to run and execute commands as intended. It is in charge of managing the user interface, hardware, and other software aspects. Operating systems include Windows, Linux, IOS, MacOS, Unix, Symbian, and Android, among others.

The platform would not be able to function without these operating systems, and it would just be a bunch of components emitting energy mindlessly.

A distributed operating system is a concept in which distributed programs operate on several machines that are linked together via communications. It is a new innovation in the technical world of computers; also, they are being accepted/used all over the world, since one of the key advantages of these systems is that they give high speed.

A distributed OS is a system that consists of numerous components situated on various computers that coordinate and communicate operations in order to seem to the user as a single cohesive operating system.

Functioning of Distributed Operating Systems

The functions and interface of a distributed operating system are the same as those of a monolithic operating system. That is, the purpose of both systems is to make the computational and storage capacities offered by the hardware accessible to the system's users.

New hardware can be added to a distributed operating system to expand storage or processing power, or to improve the availability of storage and computing facilities. The system interface stays unaltered throughout and after this modification. Transparency of access is an important notion. The upper interface is made up of powerful command interpreters and editors, which are backed up by a high-resolution graphical window system. Workstations are used to execute this software. Workstations are high-performance computer devices that include a CPU, memory, a bitmap display, a keyboard, a pointing device, and a network interface. Furthermore, workstations are frequently outfitted with a disk.The CPU is at least as efficient as those found in conventional computer systems, and the memory capacity is comparable or even more.

A workstation is assigned to a single person. As a result, the workstation sits inactive the majority of the time. As a result, it is tempting to utilize it as the primary computer asset for the user and maybe others as well. It might also be utilized independently of the remainder of the system in the event of a breakdown. We reject these workstation applications because we feel that workstations should only provide the upper interface.

Architecture of Distributed Operating System

Distributed systems require a network to connect all of its elements (devices, hardware, or software) so that they may exchange messages and interact. An IP address, cables, or even a circuit board might be used to link that network. Databases, objects, and files are among the types of data that are sent between machines in the form of messages. A distributed system's ability to consistently convey messages, whether they're delivered, received, acknowledged, or how a node retries after a failure, is a key aspect. Services and applications required to scale, and additional computers necessary to be added and managed, therefore distributed systems were born.


Types of Distributed Operating System

The different Types of Distributed Operating System are:

  1. Client/Server Systems
  2. Peer to Peer Systems
  3. Middleware Systems
  4. Three-tier System
  5. N-tier System

There are primarily kinds of distributed operating systems which are as follows:

1. Client/Server Systems

In this approach, the client requests a resource from the server. The server, on the other hand, gives this service to the client. A single client communicates with only one server at a moment. A single server, on the other hand, may handle several clients at the same time. The system's clients and servers communicate over a computer network. It is also referred to as a "Tightly Coupled Operating System." This system is primarily intended for multiprocessors and homogeneous multicomputers. Client-Server Systems function as a centralized server since they approve all requests issued by client systems. Server systems are classified into two types:

  • Computer Server System - This system permits the interface, and the client then submits its own demands to be executed as an action. Eventually, after completing the operation, it sends the answer to the back end and transfers the result to the client.
  • File Server System - It provides a file system interface for clients, allowing them to execute actions such as file creation, updating, deletion, and more.

2. Peer to Peer Systems

The nodes play a crucial function in this system. The task is distributed evenly among the nodes. Further, these nodes can exchange data or assets as needed. They, once again, need a network to interact. It's also referred to as a "Loosely Coupled System." This notion is used in computer network applications since they involve a large number of processors that do not have shared memory or clocks. Each processor has its unique local memory, and these processors communicate with one another via a variety of communication channels such as high-speed buses or telephone lines.

3. Middleware Systems

Middleware allows all apps running on different operating systems to communicate with each other. Such applications are capable of transmitting all data amongst each other when they use these services. It provides for transparency in distribution.

4. Three-tier System

Clients do not need to be witty in this architecture since the processing and decision-making is handled by a middle tier. This is where the majority of the initial web apps are found. The middle tier might be described as an agent that accepts stateless requests from clients, processes the data, and then sends it to the servers.

5. N-tier System

The n-tier application is an expansion of the 3-tier architecture in which your middle layer communicates with another service to obtain information. This is most common when the system has numerous pieces of separate business logic.
Microservices-based architecture is a famous example of an n-tier architecture. Each service is in charge of its own data, and it connects with other services to obtain the information it requires. As a result, a three-tier program usually becomes an n-tier application.

Examples of Distributed Operating Systems

  • The IRIX operating system is a Silicon Graphics multiprocessor workstation version of UNIX System V, Release 3.
  • The DYNIX operating system is used on Sequent Symmetry multiprocessor computers.
  • AIX is an operating system designed for IBM RS/6000 systems.
  • Open Foundation Software created the OSF/1 operating system, which is UNIX compatible.
  • Mach/OS is a UNIX-compatible multi-threading and multitasking operating system.
  • Solaris is an operating system for SUN multiprocessor workstations.

Characteristics of Distributed Operating System

Characteristics of Distributed Operating System are:

  • This system's most essential feature is that it enables users to share assets. They can also exchange resources in a safe and controlled way. Any form of resource can be used. Printers, files, data, storage, web pages, and other common resources are examples of shared resources.
  • The system's services are transparently shown through interfaces. Furthermore, these interfaces just give the services' syntax. For example, function types, return types, arguments, and so on. Interface Definition Languages are used in these interfaces.
  • When new nodes are added to the system, the efficiency of the system doesn't quite modify. Furthermore, the performance of a 100-node system should be comparable to that of a 1000-node system.
  • At separate nodes of the system, several jobs are running at the same time. Furthermore, these activities can interact with one another. As a result, the system's efficiency improves.
  • It is the system's most essential feature. The primary purpose of a distributed operating system is to conceal the fact that resources are shared. Transparency also implies that the user should be unaware that the assets he is accessing are shared. Furthermore, the system should be a distinct independent unit for the user.
  • It is fault tolerant, which implies that even if the hardware or software fails, the user may still utilize the system.

Applications of Distributed Operating Systems

In phone and cellular networks, DOS is beneficial. A DOS can be found in networks including the Internet, wireless sensor networks, and routing algorithms. DOS is used by many network applications, including the Web, peer-to-peer networks, multi-player web-based games, and virtual communities. Banking systems and airline reservation booking systems are two examples of such systems.

Aircraft control systems are an example of a real-time process control system that operates on a deadline. DOS is the foundation of systematic computing, which encompasses cluster computing and grid computing and a variety of volunteer computing initiatives.

Differences between Distributed OS and other operating systems

Differences between Distributed OS and other operating systems are:

Network OS Distributed OS
Links numerous computers to a network and allows them to share resources. Connects numerous computers over a bus and makes them function as if they were one.
Runs on a server, and any device connected to the network can have its own operating system. The operating system on each computer linked to the network bus must be the same.
Simple to set up and cost-effective. Installation is quite expensive and time-consuming.
It assists in the sharing of user credentials as well as the management of data and security-related resources. A task's resources are shared
Because every device is connected to the main server, it is less dependable. All processes will cease to function if the central server fails. Because there is no such thing as a central system, it is more trustworthy. Processing will not be halted if a device fails.
  • Batch OS does not communicate with the computer directly. Instead, an operator gathers jobs that are related and arranges them into a batch, which is then completed one by one according to the first-come, first-serve concept.
  • The multitasking OS, also referred as the time-sharing operating system as each job is allotted a certain amount of time to ensure that everything runs smoothly. This system allows a huge number of users access, and each user receives the same amount of CPU time as they would in a single system. The tasks are assigned by a single user or by several users. A quantum is the amount of time allocated to finish one job, and after that time is up, the system shifts to the next task.
  • Real-time operating systems are designed to support real-time systems. These operating systems are beneficial in situations where a large number of events occur in a short period of time or when strict deadlines must be met, such as real-time simulations.
  • A mobile OS is a software platform that runs on smartphones, tablets, and personal digital assistants (PDAs). It's a mobile device platform that allows other apps to operate.

Advantages of Distributed Operating System

Advantages of Distributed Operating System are:

  • The system's load is reduced.
  • The technology divides up the burden, making computations simple.
  • The system's size may be customized to meet specific needs.
  • Resources, such as printers, can be shared among numerous nodes rather of being limited to a single node.
  • Because computation takes place on each node separately, introducing more nodes and features as needed is straightforward and affordable.
  • If one system fails, the other will not be affected.
  • Because nodes are linked, they may readily share data with one another.

Disadvantages of Distributed Operating System

Disadvantages of Distributed Operating System are:

  • The failure of the core system will have an impact on the entire system.
  • The system must determine which jobs must be completed, when they must be completed, and where they must be completed. Because a scheduler has limits, it may result in under-utilized hardware and unexpected run-times.
  • The setup expense is high.
  • Communication delay increases when a system becomes more broadly spread. As a result, teams/developers must balance availability, consistency, and latency.
  • Programming is a challenging task.
  • Gathering, processing, presenting, and monitoring hardware use metrics for big clusters may be a significant issue.
  • Because the nodes and connections must be guarded, it is challenging to provide appropriate security in DOS.
  • While traveling from one node to another, some information may be lost in the network.

Because a system with only one instance of a vital component, such as a CPU, disk, or network interface, will fall down if that component fails, distributed systems are theoretically more dependable than central systems. When there are several instances, the network may be able to keep running even if some of them fail. Software failures might be considered in addition to hardware failures. Both hardware and software failures can be handled in distributed systems.

With this article at OpenGenus, you must have the complete idea of Distributed Operating System.

Distributed Operating System
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