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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
What is a Distributed Operating System?
3.
Types of Distributed Operating System
3.1.
1. Client-Server Systems 
3.1.1.
Server Computer System
3.1.2.
File Server Software
3.2.
2. Peer-to-Peer Systems
3.3.
3. Middleware
3.4.
4. Three-tier
3.5.
5. N-tier
4.
Features of Distributed Operating System
4.1.
1. Openness 
4.2.
2. Scalability 
4.3.
3. Sharing of Resources 
4.4.
4. Flexibility 
4.5.
5. Transparency 
4.6.
6. Heterogeneity 
4.7.
7. Fault Tolerance 
5.
Applications of Distributed Operating System
6.
Examples of Distributed Operating System
7.
Security in Distributed Operating system
8.
Advantages of Distributed Operating System
9.
Disadvantages of Distributed Operating System
10.
Frequently Asked Questions
10.1.
What is distributed operating system with example?
10.2.
What is distributed operating system used for?
10.3.
What are the 4 types of operating system?
10.4.
What is a deadlock in OS?
11.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
Easy

Distributed Operating System

Author Sanjana Yadav
0 upvote
Roadmap to SDE career at Amazon
Speaker
Anubhav Sinha
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25 Jun, 2024 @ 01:30 PM

Introduction

A distributed operating system is an essential type of operating system. It uses many central processors to serve multiple real-time applications and users.

What is Distributed OS?

What is a Distributed Operating System?

One of the essential types of operating systems is the distributed operating system.

A Distributed Operating System is a type of system software that operates across a network of independent computational nodes. These nodes are physically separate and communicate with each other to handle tasks that require multiple CPUs. Each node in the system contains a specific software component of the overall operating system.

In simple words, Distributed systems employ many central processors to support numerous real-time applications and consumers. As a result, data processing duties are divided across the processors.

Processors connect with one another via various communication routes (like high-speed buses or telephone lines). These are referred to as loosely coupled or distributed systems. The size and purpose of the processors in this system may vary. Sites, nodes, computers, and other terms are used to describe them.

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Types of Distributed Operating System

There are various types of Distributed Operating systems. Some of them are as follows:

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

1. Client-Server Systems 

This sort of system needs the client to request a resource, which is then provided by the server. When a client connects to a server, the server may serve several clients at once. Tightly Coupled Operating Systems are another name for Client-Server Systems. This system is designed mainly for multiprocessors and homogeneous multicomputer. Client-Server Systems act as a centralized server since they authorize all client-system requests.

Server systems are classified into two types -

Server Computer System

This system enables the interface, after which the client provides its own requests to be processed as an action. It provides a back answer after completing the action and conveys the result to the client.

File Server Software

It offers clients a file system interface via which they may perform tasks such as file creation, updating, deletion, and more.

2. Peer-to-Peer Systems

The nodes are critical components of this system. The job is distributed evenly across the nodes. These nodes can also exchange data and resources as needed. They, once again, require a network to connect.

The Peer-to-Peer System is referred to as a "Loosely Coupled System." This notion is employed in computer network applications since they involve many processors that do not share memory or clocks. Each processor has its local memory, and they communicate with one another via several techniques like telephone lines or high-speed buses.

3. Middleware

Middleware is software that lies between the operating system and the apps that run on it, serving as a covert translation layer. This middleware is useful in remote applications because it allows for data management as well as communications. 

You can use middleware to accomplish requests, such as submitting a form on the web browser and allowing the web browser to produce a dynamic web page based on the user's profile. By taking care of difficult tasks like message forwarding, distant procedure calls, and data synchronization, middleware makes the creation of distributed systems easier.

4. Three-tier

A three-tier design, also known as a three-layer architecture, divides a distributed system logically into three layers: presentation, application, and data. The presentation layer is in charge of the user interface, the application layer is in charge of business logic and processing, and the data layer is in charge of data storage and retrieval.

The client information is saved in the intermediate tier rather than the client, which simplifies development. This design is most typically used in web-based applications. It increases distributed system scalability, modularity, and maintenance.

5. N-tier

By incorporating additional layers, N-tier design expands on a three-tier architecture. It divides the parts of a distributed system into various tiers or levels, each of which is in charge of a different task. These layers may contain database, presentation, application, and business logic levels. N-tier designs improve the scalability, flexibility, and concern separation of the design and deployment of distributed systems.

In simple terms, N-tier denotes any number of layers with no restriction. N-tier distributed operating systems effectively allow you to create your own combination of hardware and software layers in order to provide a modular set of services. 

Features of Distributed Operating System

The distributed operating system has several features. Here are a few examples:

1. Openness 

It signifies that the system's services are openly accessible via interfaces. Additionally, these interfaces only provide the service syntax, for example, the function's type, return type, arguments, etc. These interfaces are created using Interface Definition Languages (IDL).

2. Scalability 

It refers to the concept that the system's efficiency should not change while more nodes are added to it. Furthermore, the performance of a 100-node system should be the same as that of a 1000-node system.

3. Sharing of Resources 

Its most important feature is the ability for users to share resources. They can also securely and controllably exchange resources. Shared resources include printers, files, data, storage, web pages, etc.

4. Flexibility 

The modularity of a DOS increases its flexibility and allows it to provide a more advanced variety of high-level services. The quality and completeness of the kernel/microkernel ease the development of such services.

5. Transparency 

It is the most crucial aspect of the distributed operating system. A distributed operating system's principal goal is to hide the fact that resources are shared. Transparency also indicates that the user is not aware that the resources he is using are shared. Furthermore, the system should function as a distinct, self-contained entity for the user.

6. Heterogeneity 

Operating systems, networks, programming languages, computer hardware, and implementations by different developers can all differ and vary in distributed system components.

7. Fault Tolerance 

Fault tolerance refers to the mechanism through which a user can continue working even if the software or hardware fails.

Also see, Clean Architecture

Applications of Distributed Operating System

  • Many network applications, including the Web, peer-to-peer networks, multiplayer web-based games, and virtual communities, employ the Distributed Operating System.
     
  • DOS has applications in phones and cellular networks. DOS exists in networks such as the Internet, wireless sensor networks, and routing algorithms.
     
  • DOS is the basis of systematic computing, which encompasses cluster and grid computing, as well as a number of volunteer computing projects.
     
  • DOS is often used for real-time process control. Aircraft control systems are instances of real-time process control systems that operate with a deadline.

Examples of Distributed Operating System

  1. AIX is an operating system designed for IBM RS/6000 systems.
     
  2. The Solaris operating system is designed for SUN multiprocessor workstations.
     
  3. Mach/OS is a UNIX-compatible multitasking and multithreading operating system.
     
  4. OSF/1 operating system.

Security in Distributed Operating system

Security in a distributed operating system is crucial due to the complex and interconnected nature of distributed systems. Here are key considerations:

  • Authentication: Ensure secure user authentication mechanisms to verify the identity of users and nodes within the distributed system.
  • Access Control: Implement access controls to restrict unauthorized access to resources. This includes file systems, communication channels, and services.
  • Encryption: Use encryption techniques to secure communication between nodes. This prevents unauthorized interception and ensures the confidentiality of data.
  • Auditing and Logging: Implement comprehensive auditing and logging mechanisms to track system activities. This aids in identifying security breaches and provides accountability.
  • Integrity Checks: Employ integrity checks to ensure the consistency and integrity of data across distributed nodes. Detect and respond to any unauthorized modifications.
  • Secure Communication Protocols: Choose secure communication protocols, such as TLS/SSL, to protect data in transit. This prevents eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks.
  • Firewalls and Intrusion Detection Systems: Implement firewalls and intrusion detection systems to monitor and control network traffic. This helps in identifying and responding to potential security threats.

Advantages of Distributed Operating System

  • It may share all resources (CPU, disc, network interface, nodes, computers, and so on) from one location to another, boosting data availability throughout the system.
     
  • Because all data is duplicated across all sites, it decreases the likelihood of data corruption; if one site fails, the user may access data from another operating site.
     
  • Because the complete system runs independently of one another, if one site fails, the entire system does not come to a standstill.
     
  • It accelerates data transmission from one point to another.
     
  • It is an open system since it may be accessed locally and remotely.
     
  • It contributes to the lowering of data processing time.

Disadvantages of Distributed Operating System

  • The system must determine which jobs must be performed, when they must be performed, and where they must be performed. The restrictions of a scheduler might result in underused hardware and unexpected runtimes.
     
  • Because nodes and connections must be guarded, it isn't easy to establish appropriate security in DOS.
     
  • Compared to a single-user system, the database attached to a DOS is more sophisticated and challenging to operate.
     
  • Compared to other systems, the underlying software is exceedingly sophisticated and poorly understood.
     
  • The higher the communication delay, the more extensively spread the system is. As a result, teams and developers must make a trade-off between availability, consistency, and latency.
     
  • These systems are not generally accessible because they are deemed excessively expensive.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is distributed operating system with example?

A distributed system is a computing environment where different components are dispersed over numerous computers (or other computing devices) connected via a network. These gadgets divided the labor, coordinating their efforts to execute the task more efficiently than if a single device had been in charge.

What is distributed operating system used for?

One of the essential types of operating systems is the distributed operating system. Distributed systems employ many central processors to support numerous real-time applications and consumers. As a result, data processing duties are divided across the processors.

What are the 4 types of operating system?

The four types are Real-Time OS for time-sensitive applications, Single-User, Multi-User OS, Distributed OS.

What is a deadlock in OS?

A deadlock is a state where two or more processes are unable to proceed because each is waiting for the other to release a resource, causing a system halt.

Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed the Distributed Operating System. We have also looked at their features, advantages and disadvantages. Distributed Operating Systems play a pivotal role in the modern computing landscape, offering enhanced scalability, reliability, and performance. They tackle the challenges of interconnected systems, providing efficient resource utilization and fault tolerance. 

Recommended Readings: 

 

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