Abstract

We argue that a new OS for a multicore machine should be designed ground-up as a distributed system, using concepts from that field. Modern hardware resembles a networked system even more than past large multiprocessors: in addition to familiar latency effects, it exhibits node heterogeneity and dynamic membership changes.

Cache coherence protocols encourage OS designers to selectively ignore this, except for limited performance reasons. Commodity OS designs have mostly assumed fixed, uniform CPU architectures and memory systems.