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CS 620 Advanced Operating Systems

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  1. CS 620 Advanced Operating Systems Lecture 5 – Processes Professor Timothy Arndt BU 331

  2. Threads • Motivation • Keep programs interactive. • Programs may block waiting for I/O. • This is a bad thing if the program is interactive. • Background save. • Consider saving a large file to a slow disk system. • The user has to wait for the save operation to finish before proceeding. • Multiple clients. • Consider also a server program with multiple clients. • We must fork off a new process for each client.

  3. Threads • Basic idea • Multiple lightweight processes. • Traditional processes are created very slowly and use many system resources. • Threads are similar to processes. • They have their own stack and PC. • Single address space. • By sharing a single address space, there is no need to have separate (costly) address spaces. • Since threads of a single program cooperate (unlike processes of separate programs) it is possible for them to share an address space.

  4. Thread Usage in Nondistributed Systems • Context switching as the result of IPC

  5. Threads • Threads also share: • open files • child processes • timers • etc. • Synchronization primitives available. • Necessary since threads share a common memory. • Semaphores, mutexes, etc.

  6. Threads • So what’s a thread? • Stack • Program counter • what about I/O, signals, global variables (like errno?)?

  7. Threads • Is it managed from user or kernel level? • User threads have a very cheap task context switch • Kernel threads handle blocking I/O cleanly • In order for user threads not block, we need extended models for I/O • E.g. select() indicates which files are ready to transfer data so we don’t block • Hybrid is also possible

  8. Thread Implementation • Combining kernel-level lightweight processes and user-level threads.

  9. Threads • Preemption can be implemented via signal • Should user-level threads be preempted? • Easier programming model if processes yield() the processor. • But it is a nuisance to program with extra yield() calls • Preemption can be controlled with special no preempt regions

  10. Threads • So how do you use threads? • User interface/computation/I/O handled separately (think of a browser) • Pop-up server threads • On multiprocessor systems, we can have threads working in parallel on the multiple processors as an alternative to shared memory IPC

  11. Multithreaded Servers (1) • A multithreaded server organized in a dispatcher/worker model.

  12. Threads in Windows • Each process in Windows contains one or more threads. • Threads are the executable units in Windows, not processes. • Threads have the following attributes: • The PID of the process that owns it. • A numeric base priority specifying its importance relative to other threads. • A dynamic priority. • Its execution time so far. • An allowed processor set. • An exit status.

  13. Threads in Windows • The Windows Kernel schedules threads and handles interrupts and exceptions. • The Kernel schedules or dispatches threads for the processor in order of priority. • It also preempts threads of lower priority in favor of threads of higher priority. • It can force context switches, directing the processor to drop one task ands pick up another. • Therefore code operating in this system must be reentrant. (Able to be interrupted and resumed unharmed and shared by different threads executing the code on different processors.)

  14. Threads in Windows • The Kernel’s own code does not, technically, run in threads. • Hence it is the only part of the OS that is not preemptible or pageable. • The rest of the threads in Windows are preemptible and fully reentrant. • Code which is non-reentrant can cause serialization, damaging the performance of the OS on SMP machines. • The Kernel schedules ready threads for processor time based upon their dynamic priority, a number from 1 to 31.

  15. Threads in Windows • The highest priority thread always runs on the processor, even if this requires that a lower-priority thread be interrupted. • The base priority class of a process establishes a range for the base priority of the process and its thread. The base priority classes are: • Idle • Normal • High • Real-Time • The base priority of a process varies within the range established by its base priority class.

  16. Threads in Windows • When a user interacts with a process (the process window is at the top of the window stack), Windows boosts the priority of the process to maximize its response. • The base priority of a thread is a function of the base priority of the process in which it runs. It varies within +/- 2 from the base priority of the process. • The dynamic priority of a thread is a function of its base priority. Windows continually adjusts the dynamic priority of threads within the range established by its base priority. • The base priority class of a running process can be changed by using Task Manager.

  17. Threads in Windows • The Windows Kernel takes maximum advantage of multiprocessor configurations by implementing symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) and soft affinity. • SMP allows the threads of any process, including the OS, to run on any processor. • The threads of a single process can run on different processors at the same time. • With soft affinity, the Kernel attempts to run the thread on the last processor it ran on. • Applications can restrict threads to run only on certain processors (hard affinity).

  18. Threads in Windows • The Kernel manages two types of objects: • Dispatcher objects have a signal state (signaled or nonsignaled) and control dispatching and synchronization of system operations. • Semaphores, mutexes, events, etc. • Control objects are used to control the operation of the Kernel but do not affect dispatching. • Processes, interrupts, etc. • The I/O Manager (a component of the Windows Executive) supports Asynchronous I/O. • Asynchronous I/O allows an application to continue working while an I/O operation completes.

  19. Threads in Windows • A thread may wait for the I/O to complete or we may use an application procedure call (APC) that the I/O manager calls when the I/O completes or we may use a synchronization object (e.g. an event) that the I/O system sets to the signaled state when I/O completes. • The Process Manager creates and deletes processes and tracks process objects and thread objects. • The subsystems define the rules for threads and processes.

  20. System Model • We look at three models: • Workstations (zero cost solution) • Clusters (a.k.a. NOW a.k.a. COW, a.k.a. LAMP, a.k.a. Beowulf, a.k.a. pool) • Hybrid • Workstation model • Connect workstations in department via LAN • Includes personal workstations and public ones • We often have dedicated file servers

  21. Workstation Model

  22. Workstation Model - UMich

  23. Workstations • The workstations can be diskless • Not so popular anymore (disks are cheap) • Maintenance is easy • Must have some startup code in ROM • If you have a disk on the workstation you can use it for • 1. Paging and temporary files • 2. 1. + (some) system executables • 3. 2. + file caching • 4. full file system

  24. Workstations • Case 1 is often called dataless • Just as easy to maintain (software) as diskless • We still need startup code in ROM • Case 2 • Reduces load more and speeds up program start time • Adds maintenance since new releases of programs must be loaded onto the workstations • Case 3 • We can have a very few executables permanently on the disk • Must keep the caches consistent • Not trivial for data files with multiple writers • This issue comes up for NFS as well • Should you cache whole files or blocks?

  25. Workstations • Case 4 • You can work if just your machine is up • But you lose location transparency • Also requires the most maintenance • Using idle workstations • Early systems did this manually via rsh • Still used today. • How do you find idle workstations?

  26. Workstations • Idle = no mouse or keyboard activity and low load average • Workstation can announce it is idle and this is recorded by all • A job looking for a machine can inquire • Must worry about race conditions • Some jobs want a bunch of machines so they look for many idle machines • Can also have centralized solution, processor server • Usual tradeoffs apply here • What about the local environment?

  27. Workstations • Files on servers are no problem • Requests for local files must be sent home • ... but not needed for temporary files • System calls for memory or process management probably need to be executed on the remote machine • Time is a bit of a mess unless have we time synchronized by a system like ntp • If a program is interactive, we must deal with devices • mouse, keyboard, display • What if the borrowed machine becomes non-idle (i.e. the owner returns)?

  28. Workstations • Detect presence of user. • Kill off the guest processes. • Helpful if we made checkpoints (or ran short jobs) • Erase files, etc. • We could try to migrate the guest processes to other hosts but this must be very fast or the owner will object. • Our goal is to make owner not be aware of our presence. • May not be possible since you may have paged out his basic environment (shell, editor, X server, window manager) that s/he left running when s/he stopped using the machine.

  29. Clusters • Bunch of workstations without displays in machine room connected by a network. • They are quite popular now. • Indeed some clusters are packaged by their manufacturer into a serious compute engine. • Ohio Supercomputing Center replaced MPP and Vector supercomputers with clusters • Used to solve large problems using many processors at one time • Pluses of large time sharing system vs. small individual machines.

  30. A Cluster System

  31. A Cluster System

  32. Clusters • Also the minuses of timesharing. • We can use easy queuing theory to show that a large fast server better in some cases than many slower personal machines. • Hybrid • Each user has a workstation and uses the pool for big jobs. • It is the dominant model for cluster based machines.

  33. Virtualization • Virtualization has a long history. • It was important in the 1960s/70s • Faded during the 1980s/90s • Increasing importance nowadays • Security • Ease of management • Different types of virtualization • Process virtual machine • Virtual machine monitor (hardware virtual machine)

  34. Virtualization • Process virtual machine • JVM • Macromedia Flash Player • Wine • VMM • VMWare • Parallels • VirtualBox • Microsoft Virtual PC

  35. The Role of Virtualization in Distributed Systems • (a) General organization between a program, interface, and system. (b) General organization of virtualizing system A on top of system B.

  36. Architectures of Virtual Machines • Interfaces at different levels • An interface between the hardware and software consisting of machine instructions • that can be invoked by any program. • An interface between the hardware and software, consisting of machine instructions • that can be invoked only by privileged programs, such as an operating system.

  37. Architectures of Virtual Machines • Interfaces at different levels • An interface consisting of system calls as offered by an operating system. • An interface consisting of library calls • generally forming what is known as an application programming interface (API). • In many cases, the aforementioned system calls are hidden by an API.

  38. Architectures of Virtual Machines • Figure 3-6. Various interfaces offered by computer systems.

  39. Architectures of Virtual Machines • A process virtual machine, with multiple instances of (application, runtime) combinations.

  40. Architectures of Virtual Machines • A virtual machine monitor, with multiple instances of (applications, operating system) combinations.

  41. Processor Allocation • Processor Allocation • Decide which processes should run on which processors. • Could also be called process allocation. • We assume that any process can run on any processor.

  42. Processor Allocation • Often the only difference between different processors is: • CPU speed • CPU speed and amount of memory • What if the processors are not homogeneous? • Assume that we have binaries for all the different architectures. • What if not all machines are directly connected • Send process via intermediate machines

  43. Processor Allocation • If we have only PowerPC binaries, restrict the process to PowerPC machines. • If we need machines very close for fast communication, restrict the processes to a group of close machines. • Can you move a running process or are processor allocations done at process creation time? • Migratory allocation algorithms vs. non migratory.

  44. Processor Allocation • What is the figure of merit, i.e. what do we want to optimize in order to find the best allocation of processes to processors? • Similar to CPU scheduling in centralized operating systems. • Minimize response time is one possibility.

  45. Processor Allocation • We are not assuming all machines are equally fast. • Consider two processes. P1 executes 100 millions instructions, P2 executes 10 million instructions. • Both processes enter system at time t=0 • Consider two machines A executes 100 MIPS, B 10 MIPS • If we run P1 on A and P2 on B each takes 1 second so average response time is 1 sec. • If we run P1 on B and P2 on A, P1 takes 10 seconds P2 .1 sec. so average response time is 5.05 sec. • If we run P2 then P1 both on A finish at times .1 and 1.1 so average response time is .6 seconds!!

  46. Processor Allocation • Minimize response ratio. • Response ratio is the time to run on some machine divided by time to run on a standardized (benchmark) machine, assuming the benchmark machine is unloaded. • This takes into account the fact that long jobs should take longer. • Maximize CPU utilization • Throughput • Jobs per hour • Weighted jobs per hour

  47. Processor Allocation • If weighting is CPU time, we get CPU utilization • This is the way to justify CPU utilization (user centric) • Design issues • Deterministic vs. Heuristic • Use deterministic for embedded applications, when all requirements are known a priori. • Patient monitoring in hospital • Nuclear reactor monitoring • Centralized vs. distributed • We have a tradeoff of accuracy vs. fault tolerance and bottlenecks.

  48. Processor Allocation • Optimal vs. best effort • Optimal normally requires off line processing. • Similar requirements as for deterministic. • Usual tradeoff of system effort vs. result quality. • Transfer policy • Does a process decide to shed jobs just based on its own load or does it have (and use) knowledge of other loads? • Also called local vs. global • Usual tradeoff of system effort (gather data) vs. result quality.

  49. Processor Allocation • Location policy • Sender vs. receiver initiated. • Sender initiated - uploading programs to a compute server • Receiver initiated - downloading Java applets • Look for help vs. look for work. • Both are done.

  50. Processor Allocation • Implementation issues • Determining local load • Normally use a weighted mean of recent loads with more recent weighted higher.