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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is a Parallel Operating System?
2.1.
Examples of Parallel Operating Systems
3.
Working of a Parallel Operating System
4.
Functions of Parallel Operating System
5.
Types of Parallel Operating Systems
6.
Application of Parallel Operating System
7.
Advantages of Parallel Operating Systems
8.
Disadvantages of Parallel Operating System
9.
Frequently Asked Questions
9.1.
What is a parallel operating system?
9.2.
What is an example of a parallel operating system?
9.3.
What is parallel system and time sharing operating system?
9.4.
What are the two types of parallelism in OS?
10.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Parallel Operating System

Author Sinki Kumari
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Introduction

An Operating System is the software responsible for managing all the computer system's resources. It is the intermediary between the hardware and the user. It provides an environment through which a user can execute tasks. Also, to make the working of the system more efficient, parallel processing is done.

Parallel Operating System

In this article, we will study parallel operating systems.

What is a Parallel Operating System?

Parallel Operating Systems help speed up the processing time by dividing the task into multiple sub-tasks or sub-processes. This way, numerous processors can deal with various tasks simultaneously.

What is a Parallel Operating System?

It can be achieved using various processors in a single system or systems forming a cluster. Thus, numerous operating systems reach faster processing speeds.

Also, such systems can be used when multiple applications are to be run simultaneously without interfering with each other. Such systems can handle multiple loads at the same time.

A parallel operating system has many applications, such as database and mining, argument reality, various engineering fields, graphics, etc.

Some examples of parallel operating systems are Microsoft Hyper-V, Oracle VM, Sun xVM Server, etc.

Examples of Parallel Operating Systems

Examples of parallel operating systems include:

  1. Linux with support for SMP (Symmetric Multi-Processing).
  2. AIX (IBM's UNIX-based OS) for high-performance computing.
  3. Solaris with support for multi-core processors.
  4. Windows Server for enterprise parallel processing.
  5. HPE NonStop OS for high availability and parallel processing.
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Working of a Parallel Operating System

The main task is broken down into smaller sub-tasks in a parallel operating system design. Then, each sub-task is assigned to a different system for processing. This way, the task is completed quickly since each instruction is further divided for various CPU components.

Usually, a single system transmits and processes instructions whenever a task is assigned to different components for simultaneous processing. In a parallel operating system, various systems achieve the same much quicker, and such a system can handle much more loads of work simultaneously.

Functions of Parallel Operating System

Let us see some main functions of a parallel operating system.

  • It has a multiprocessing environment for faster processing. At the same time, it implements security measures among the processors.
     
  • A parallel operating system design can handle much more work than a single system. Also, resources are shared effectively among different processors.
     
  • Processes that may thread with each other are focused on so that there is no interference between simultaneous processes.

Types of Parallel Operating Systems

Mainly, parallel operating systems are categorized into two types:- type 1 and type 2. Let us study them one by one.

  • type-1:- This system runs directly on metal and acts as a native hypervisor. Systems that share physical hardware or virtual machines can be used in this type. The operating system does not provide any Input/Output emulations. For example, VMware uses the type-1 parallel operating system design.
     
  • type-2:- This type is hosted on a hypervisor. But, it is executed when the hypervisor runs on conventional operating systems like Windows, Linux, etc.

Application of Parallel Operating System

Parallel operating systems are used in various applications to harness the power of multiple processors or cores for improved performance and efficiency. Applications include:

  • High-Performance Computing (HPC): Parallel OSs are essential for scientific simulations, weather modeling, and other data-intensive HPC tasks.
  • Data Centers and Cloud Computing: They enable efficient resource allocation and scalability in data centers and cloud environments.
  • Real-time Systems: Used in applications like autonomous vehicles and industrial automation where rapid response times are critical.
  • Database Management: Parallel databases benefit from the ability to distribute and process data across multiple nodes.
  • Scientific and Engineering Simulations: Parallel computing accelerates complex simulations in fields like physics and engineering.
  • Machine Learning and AI: Parallelism accelerates deep learning and training of complex neural networks.

Parallel operating systems facilitate better performance, scalability, and responsiveness in these and other compute-intensive applications.

Advantages of Parallel Operating Systems

Let us look at some benefits of parallel operating systems.

  • It helps reduce task completion time since multiple processes are run simultaneously.
     
  • It can solve large and complex operating system problems. It achieves this by sharing resources efficiently.
     
  • It can allocate much more memory space and resources to processors than a single system making it faster.

Disadvantages of Parallel Operating System

Let us look at some limitations of using a parallel operating system.

  • The architecture of such systems is complex and requires a high power supply and high maintenance.
     
  • Such systems are costly since numerous processors require many resources. Also, coolers are used, which are expensive too.
     

Also see, Difference Between Bit and Byte

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a parallel operating system?

A parallel operating system is designed to manage and utilize multiple processors or processor cores for concurrent and efficient execution of tasks, enhancing system performance and responsiveness.

What is an example of a parallel operating system?

One example of a parallel operating system is IBM's AIX, which is designed for high-performance computing and supports parallel processing on systems with multiple processors or cores.

What is parallel system and time sharing operating system?

  • A parallel system refers to a computer system with multiple processors working together to execute tasks concurrently, improving performance and throughput.
  • A time-sharing operating system allows multiple users to access and use a single computer simultaneously, dividing CPU time for fair allocation among users and providing interactive computing.

What are the two types of parallelism in OS?

Two types of parallelism in operating systems are:

  • Instruction-Level Parallelism (ILP): Concurrent execution of multiple instructions within a single process.
  • Task-Level Parallelism (TLP): Concurrent execution of multiple processes or tasks.

Conclusion

Operating systems are essential for the working of any system. An operating system is a bridge between the user and the system. However, a single system or processor often takes a lot of time for some tasks. Here comes the role of parallel operating systems in play. It divides the tasks into smaller ones, and each system needs to get a specific task done so that simultaneously, the task gets completed quickly. Multiple applications can also be run using this without interference. This article studied Parallel Operating Systems and their functions, advantages, disadvantages, and applications.

We recommend you go through the following articles for more information:

 

You can also consider our System Design Course to give your career an edge over others.

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