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key OS design issues for a Symmetric Multi-processor

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SMP has some key OS design issues;

  1. Simultaneous concurrent processes: OS routines need to be reentrant to allow several processors to execute the same IS code simultaneously. With multiple processors executing the same or different parts of the OS, OS tables and management structures must be managed properly to avoid deadlock or invalid operations. 
  2. Scheduling: Any processor may perform scheduling, so conflicts must be avoided. The scheduler must assign ready processes to available processors. 
  3. Synchronization: With multiple active processes having potential access to shared address spaces or shared I/O resources, care must be taken to provide effective synchronization. Synchronization is a facility that enforces mutual exclusion and event ordering. 
  4. Memory management: Memory management on a multiprocessor must deal with all of the issues found on uniprocessor machines. In addition, the operating system needs to exploit the available hardware parallelism, such as multiported memories, to achieve the best performance. The paging mechanisms on different processors must be coordinated to enforce consistency when several processors share a page or segment and to decide on page replacement. 
  5. Reliability and fault tolerance: The operating system should provide graceful degradation in the face of processor failure. The scheduler and other portions of the operating system must recognize the loss of a processor and restructure management tables accordingly.

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