Advantages of Distributed Operating Systems - Assignment Example

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Although distributed operating system have been said to enable the implementation of powerful resource-sharing schemes, enhance performance, increase reliability and ensure better communication, evidence shows that these systems to do not actually offer all these benefits. These…
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Distributed Operating Systems Assignment Although distributed operating system have been said to enable the implementation of powerful resource-sharing schemes, enhance performance, increase reliability and ensure better communication, evidence shows that these systems to do not actually offer all these benefits. These systems do however offer some of these benefits, but only to a small degree. The process of developing and using distributed systems actually erodes these benefits.
First, evidence shows that distributed operating systems pose major security risks to the system. This is because they have multiple components and therefore it becomes easy for one of the elements in the system to be compromised. For instance, the design of distributed systems is such that a malicious program can easily be replicated across a large number of machines, and this can result in major damage (Moffett, 2004). To this extent, although distributed operating systems might attempt to enhance high reliability through fault tolerance, it is however clear that fault tolerance is hard to achieve.
Secondly, the distributed operating systems are designed with the aim of enhancing performance. Evidence however shows that this is particularly a challenging concept since as these systems attempt to enhance performance; they actually end up conflicting with other properties, especially the reliability and security of the system. For example, in Amoeba distributed operating system, there are many applications that are replicated, an example being the databases (Tanenbaum, et al, 1990). These replications help this operating system to support fault tolerance, there enhancing its performance and reliability. However, it should be noted that as the software and hardware components are increased to enhance fault tolerance, this may end up negatively affecting the security and overall performance of the system.
Third, there is evidence to show that indeed distributed operating systems helps to enhance communication. In many of these systems, communication is mainly through messages. This allows for communication in distributed operating system easy and efficient. In many cases, the communication needs in distributed operating systems are of the request/response type (Mullender, 1988). This allows for message passing to be embedded in protocols for the remote operations. In this case, a process sends a request to another process and the request is carried out and the response returned to the initial process. Through such a mechanism, the communication process in a distributed operating system is easy. Unfortunately, in order to ensure effective communication, a number of issues need to be considered. These may include the connection strategies and the routing strategies. These may have a negative effective in the system in that it may become complex to develop and operate (Kuz, et al, 2008). For example, the components of a distributed system are located in different address spaces on totally different nodes, and therefore the mechanism for the inter-node communication needs to be different. This makes the system complex.
Despite the much publicized advantages of distributed operating systems, evidence suggests that these advantages are not fully realized when such systems are put to use. This is attributed to the weaknesses associated with distributed systems. In particular, this is due to the many components associated with distributed systems, which not only make the system complex, but also prone to attacks and other performance issues. Therefore, the benefits associated with these systems are neutralized by these limitations.
Kuz, I., Chakravarty, M & Heiser, G (2008). Distributed systems. Pp. 1-20. Retrieved from &addr=Lectures/intro-notes.pdf
Moffett, J D (2004). Security & Distributed Systems. Pp. 1-20. Retrieved from
Mullender, S (1988).Distributed Operating Systems State-of-the-Art and Future Directions. Pp. 53-60. Proc. of the EUTECO 88 Conf. (R. Speth, ed.), North-Holland, Vienna, Austria. Retrieved from
Tanenbaum, A. S et al (1990).Experiences with the Amoeba Distributed Operating System. Retrieved from Read More
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