Distributed Memory Management: Design Issues and Future Trends

7662 Words Feb 17th, 2013 31 Pages
Distributed Memory Management:
Design Issues and Future Trends
Ehab S. Al-Shaer
College of Computer Science
Northeastern University
Boston, MA 02115
March 19, 1993
In recent times the shared memory paradigm has received considerable attention in the realm of distributed systems. Distributed Shared Memory (DSM) is the abstraction for supporting the notion of shared memory in a physically non-shared (distributed) architecture. Issues to be addressed in the design and implementation of DSM include maintaining the consistency of the shared data across the network without incurring high overhead and integrating the DSM mechanisms with the local memory management.
The consistency model provided by a given DSM
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A Distributed Shared Memory (DSM) is a memory space that is logically shared by processes running on computers connected by a communication network. While such an organization exists in shared memory multiprocessors, in the domain of distributed systems it is unusual. Most existing distributed systems are structured as a number of processes with independent address spaces. These processes communicate via some form of Inter-Process Communication (IPC) system, typically message passing or remote procedure call. In a DSM system data sharing is supported directly: processes communicate with each other by reading and modifying shared directly-addressable data.
A DSM can be a flat and paged virtual address space, a segmented single level store, or even a physical address space.
A distributed system can be viewed as group of computers cooperating with each other to achieve some goal. These computers are autonomous, in that each computer has an independent flow of control, and different computers have distinct address spaces.
They communicate by sending and receiving messages. An important characteristic of cooperation is state sharing. Unfortunately, message passing primitives do not support data sharing directly. It can be simulated by implementing the shared data in a dedicated process and

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