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Open Systems Laboratory For Distributed Operating Systems

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.343.1 - 1.343.9

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Paper Authors

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Ishwar Rattan

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1626

Open Systems Laboratory for Distributed Operating Systems

Ishwar Rattan Central Michigan University

Abstract The recent advances in microprocessor technology and local area networks have made it easy to put together computer systems with a large number of machines connected by a high speed network. These systems need radically different software. In particular, the required operating systems have to deal with new ideas such as fault tolerance, load balancing, incremental growth, computational speed up, and transparency not found in traditional centralized operating systems. To integrate the concepts of distributed operating systems (DOS) in out undergraduate curriculum, a new course has been designed. It uses DOS laboratory which contains fourteen PC/ATs running under MINIX 1.5 (with networking kernel). This paper describes the course, the laboratory set-up, and the experiences in using the laboratory.

Introduction Since the mid 1980s, two major advances in computer technology have been evident. First, powerful microprocessors (16, 32 and even 64 bit) with computing power of earlier mainframes are abundant. Secondly, a larger number of these can be connected together through high speed networks which allow data transfer at 10 to 100 million bits per second.

These have lead to increasing use of distributed systems - a large number of CPUs each in a separate machine communicating via a high speed network that appears to the users as a single computer (in marked contrast to the traditional centralized, single CPU systems).

An efficient use of these distributed systems involves use of radically different software, in particular the operating system. It has to address the issues of transparency (single system view to users) and performance (load balancing and computational speed up) while providing reliability (system availability and fault tolerance) and flexibility (incremental growth)1,2,3.

The time has come to integrate these concepts and issues involved in these Distributed Operating Systems in the Computer Science curriculum at the Undergraduate level. To this end we

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Rattan, I. (1996, June), Open Systems Laboratory For Distributed Operating Systems Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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