Server Operating Systems

Proceedings of the SIGOPS European Workshop, September 1996, pp. 141-148

M. Frans Kaashoek, Dawson R. Engler, Gregory R. Ganger and Deborah A. Wallach 

We introduce server operating systems, which are sets of abstractions and runtime support for specialized, high-performance server applications. We have designed and are implementing a prototype server OS with support for aggressive specialization, direct device-to-device access, an event-driven organization, and dynamic compiler-assisted ILP. Using this server OS, we have constructed an HTTP server that outperforms servers running on a conventional OS by more than an order of magnitude and that can safely timeshare the hardware platform with other applications.

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