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GLUnix: a Global Layer Unix for a Network of Workstations Douglas P. Ghormley, David Petrou, Steven H. Rodrigues,
 

Summary: GLUnix: a Global Layer Unix for a Network of Workstations
Douglas P. Ghormley, David Petrou, Steven H. Rodrigues,
Amin M. Vahdat, and Thomas E. Anderson
fghorm,dpetrou,steverod,vahdat,teag@cs.berkeley.edu
Computer Science Division
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720
August 14, 1997
Abstract
Recent improvements in network and workstation performance have made clusters an attractive architecture for diverse
workloads, including sequential and parallel interactive applications. However, although viable hardware solutions are avail­
able today, the largest challenge in making such a cluster usable lies in the system software. This paper describes the design
and implementation of GLUnix, an operating system layer for a cluster of workstations. GLUnix is designed to provide trans­
parent remote execution, support for interactive parallel and sequential jobs, load balancing, and backward compatibility for
existing application binaries. GLUnix is a multi­user, user­level system which was constructed to be easily portable to a num­
ber of platforms.
GLUnix has been in daily use for over two years and is currently running on a 100­node cluster of Sun UltraSparcs. Perfor­
mance measurements indicate a 100­node parallel program can be run in 1.3 seconds and that the centralized GLUnix master
is not the performance bottleneck of the system.
This paper relates our experiences with designing, building, and running GLUnix. We evaluate the original goals of the

  

Source: Anderson, Tom - Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington at Seattle
Newhall, Tia - Computer Science Department, Swarthmore College

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences