Last Updated on April 14, 2023 by Prepbytes
When talking about the features of an operating system, we often encounter the term "Multiprocessing". Multiprocessing Operating System is a technology that utilizes multiple processors in a system to enhance its effectiveness and speed. By doing so, Multiprocessing Operating System enables the simultaneous execution of multiple threads or processes. Let’s learn about the Multiprocessing Operating System in detail.
What is Multiprocessing Operating System?
Multiprocessing Operating System is the type of Operating System that uses multiple processors to operate within a single system. Multiple CPUs are connected to divide and execute a job more quickly. After the task is finished, the output from all Processors is compiled to provide a final result. Jobs are required to share main memory and they may often share other system resources.
The organization of a typical Multiprocessing Operating System is shown in the image given below.
Working of Multiprocessing Operating System
In a multiprocessing operating system, the workload is divided among the multiple processors or cores. Each processor handles a specific task, which allows for improved performance and faster execution. After the completion of the task, the results from each processor are compiled to produce a single output. The operating system manages the allocation of resources and ensures that each processor is assigned a task it can handle efficiently. This results in better resource utilization and optimized system performance.
Advantages of Multiprocessing Operating System
Multiprocessing Operating Systems have the following advantages over the other types of Operating Systems.
- Multiprocessing Operating System uses multiple processors to execute the tasks which results in faster execution and better performance of the system.
- In case a processor fails to work, the other processors can continue to execute the tasks. Thus, Multiprocessing Operating Systems ensure the high availability of the system.
- Multiprocessing Operating Systems are scalable which means that can handle the increased amount of workload without affecting the performance of the system.
- Multiprocessing Operating Systems efficiently utilize the resources.
Disadvantages of Multiprocessing Operating System
The Multiprocessing Operating System has the following disadvantages.
- Multiprocessing Operating Systems are complex and require specialized knowledge.
- The cost of a Multiprocessing Operating system can be high because of the need for specialized hardware resources.
- They may face compatibility issues with software that is not designed to work with multiprocessing operating systems.
- Achieve Synchronization between multiple processors in a multiprocessing operating system is a challenging task.
Types of Multiprocessing Operating Systems
Multiprocessing Operating Systems are of the following types.
- Symmetrical Multiprocessing Operating System
- Asymmetrical Multiprocessing Operating System
Both of these types are discussed below in detail.
Symmetrical Multiprocessing Operating System
In a Symmetrical multiprocessing operating system, each processor executes the same copy of the operating system, makes its own decisions, and collaborates with other processes to ensure that the system runs smoothly. The CPU scheduling algorithms are simple. Each new job given by a user can be allocated to the least burdened processor. It also produces a system in which all processors are equally occupied at all times.
Because the processors share memory and the Input-output bus or data route, the symmetric multiprocessing operating system is sometimes known as a "shared everything" system. Processors in this system are hardly greater than 16.
The image given below depicts the typical symmetrical multiprocessing Operating System with shared memory.
Advantages of Symmetrical Multiprocessing Operating System
The Symmetrical Multiprocessing Operating System has the following advantages.
- They are fault tolerant which means in case of failure of a single processor, the other processors continue to execute the tasks.
- Asymmetrical Multiprocessing Operating System utilizes the resources efficiently by dividing the workload equally among multiple processors.
Disadvantages of Symmetrical Multiprocessing Operating System
The Disadvantages of the Symmetrical Multiprocessing Operating System are given below.
- They are more complex and require specialized knowledge to manage.
- Symmetrical Multiprocessing Operating Systems are much costlier than asymmetric ones.
- Synchronization between multiple processors is challenging.
Asymmetrical Multiprocessing Operating System
Asymmetrical Multiprocessing Operating System involves one processor acting as a master and the others as slaves. The master processor assigns ready-to-execute operations to the slave processors. The master processor maintains a ready queue from which slave processors get the processes they need to execute. A scheduler created by the master processor allocates processes to other processors in an asymmetric multiprocessing operating system.
The image given below depicts a general Asymmetrical Multiprocessing Operating System.
Advantages of Asymmetrical Multiprocessing Operating System
The Advantages of an Asymmetrical Multiprocessing Operating System are given below.
- Asymmetrical Multiprocessing Operating Systems are more scalable as each processor can be optimized for a specific task.
- The cost of an Asymmetrical Multiprocessing Operating System is less as they do not require specialized hardware.
- They are easier to design, handle and manage.
Disadvantages of Asymmetrical Multiprocessing Operating System
Asymmetrical Multiprocessing Operating Systems have the following disadvantages.
- Some processors in Asymmetrical Multiprocessing Operating System might get overburdened while some may remain idle for a long time.
- Asymmetrical Multiprocessing Operating Systems are designed to work with processors that do not share the same memory, which limits the ability to share resources.
In conclusion, Multiprocessing Operating Systems are designed to work with multiple processors, which allows for improved performance, high availability, and better resource utilization. We have discussed the two types of multiprocessing operating systems that are Symmetrical Multiprocessing Operating Systems and Asymmetrical Multiprocessing Operating Systems. Symmetrical Multiprocessing Operating Systems are designed to work with multiple processors that share the same memory and each processor is given an equal load, while Asymmetrical Multiprocessing Operating Systems are designed to work with processors that do not share the same memory and master-slave relation is present between the processors. Hope you have understood the concept of Multiprocessing Operating Systems well.
Frequently Asked Question(FAQs)
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions on the topic of Multiprocessing Operating Systems.
Ques 1. What are examples of multiprocessing operating systems?
Ans. Some common examples of multiprocessing operating systems include Windows Server, Linux, Unix, IBM’s z/OS, Solaris, etc.
Ques 2. What are some of the challenges in implementing the multiprocessing Operating Systems?
Ans. Challenges of implementing a multiprocessing operating system include complexity, synchronization issues, software compatibility issues, and the cost of specialized hardware and software.
Ques 3. How does a multiprocessing operating system improve the performance?
Ans. Multiprocessing Operating System allows for the simultaneous execution of multiple processes or threads, which can result in faster execution times and better resource utilization.
Ques 4. How does a multiprocessing operating system differ from a single-processor operating system?
Ans. A multiprocessing operating system is designed to work with multiple processors, whereas a single-processor operating system only supports one processor.