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Chapter 2 Introduction to Systems Architecture Chapter goals Discuss the development of automated computing Describe the general capabilities of a computer Describe computer system components and their functions List computer system classes and their distinguishing characteristics

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chapter 2

Chapter 2

Introduction to Systems Architecture

chapter goals
Chapter goals
  • Discuss the development of automated computing
  • Describe the general capabilities of a computer
  • Describe computer system components and their functions
  • List computer system classes and their distinguishing characteristics
  • Define the role and function of application and system software
  • Describe the economic role of system and application development software
why invent a computer
Why invent a computer?
  • What kinds of problems were people trying to solve?
primary characteristics of a computer
Primary characteristics of a computer
  • General-purpose processor capable of performing computation, data movement, comparison, and branching functions
  • Storage capacity sufficient to hold large numbers of program instructions and data
  • Flexible communication capability through the use of multiple media and devices
input output capacity
Input/output capacity
  • PC is a varied collection of devices connected through internal communication (system bus)
  • Readings from White on evolution of the system bus
system bus
System bus
  • How does capacity of system bus compare to CPU?
  • Why is “backwards compatibility” an important issue for the bus?
computer system classes
Computer System Classes
  • Microcomputer/Network Computer (PC)
  • Minicomputer (up to 100 simultaneous users)
  • Mainframe (1000s of simultaneous users)
  • Supercomputer (computationally intense applications – weather forecasting, computer animation)
multicomputer configurations
Multicomputer Configurations
  • Any organization of multiple computers to support a specific set of services or applications
  • Common configurations
    • Cluster
    • Blade
    • Grid
  • Group of similar or identical computers that cooperate to provide services or execute a common application
    • Connected by high-speed network
    • Typically located close to one another
  • Advantages: scalability and fault tolerance
  • Disadvantages: complex configuration and administration
  • Circuit board that contains most of a server computer; a specialized cluster
  • Same advantages and disadvantages as a cluster, but also:
    • Concentrate more computing power in less space
    • Are simpler to modify
  • Group of dissimilar computer systems, connected by high-speed network, that cooperate to provide services or execute a common application
  • Computers may be in separate rooms, buildings, or continents
  • Computers work cooperatively at some times, independently at others
bigger isn t always better
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
  • Grosch’s Law (1952) has been rewritten due to:
    • Multiple classes of computers
    • Expanded abilities to configure computers for specific purposes
    • Increased software costs relative to hardware costs
    • Large computer databases
    • Widespread adoption of graphical user interfaces
    • Multicomputer configurations
complexity of software creation
Complexity of software creation

Software performs a complex translation:

  • Identified need or task
  • Human language description of how to complete the task (algorithm, recipe, construction plan, blueprint)
  • Algorithm to programming language (code)
  • Programming language to machine language
  • Machine language to CPU instructions (all binary, 0s and 1s)
software types
Software types
  • Application software
  • System software
systems software
Systems software
  • Invisible to user (ideal)
  • IS professional – needs to understand/configure/install/maintain/update systems software
system software layers
System software layers
  • System management – utilities called by user/system administrator
  • System services – functions common to many applications carried out by system software (print)
  • Resource allocation – manage multiple requests for same resource
  • Hardware interface – carries out instructions that operate directly on devices (device drivers)
machine independence
Machine independence
  • Layers “hide” specific details about hardware
  • Standard service requests (print) are translated at lowest possible level to specific hardware instructions
  • Example: adding a new printer changes your OS, not every application installed on your machine
machine independence cont
Machine independence (cont.)
  • Placing all hardware interface functions within a single system software layer
  • Concept of virtual machine (used by Java, .NET)
    • Same applet is downloaded
    • Each individual machine (unix, mac, windows) has own systems level to carry out instructions from applet
operating systems functions
Operating systems functions
  • Program storage, loading and execution
  • File manipulation and access
  • Secondary storage management
  • Network and interactive user interfaces
application development
Application development
  • Toolkit or suite to assist in development of software
  • Referred to as Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
  • Programs that helps create other programs
application development cont
Application development (cont.)

IDE consists of

  • Program translator (compiler)
  • Program editors
  • Debugging tools
  • System development & modeling tools (CASE computer aided software engineering)
computer networks
Computer networks
  • Set of hardware and software components that allows information, software and hardware resources to be shared among multiple users and computer systems
network components
Network components
  • External Resources
  • Network Software
  • Network Communication and the Physical Network
chapter summary
Chapter summary
  • This chapter introduces the primary topics of the text:
  • Hardware
  • Processor
  • Software
  • Operating systems
  • Networks