HP Labs Technical Reports

The Experimental Migration of a Distributed Application to a Multithreaded Environment

Pham, Thuan Q.



Abstract: Light-weight computation threads in a multithreaded operating system promise to provide low overhead computation and fully sharable addressing space not available in conventional process-oriented operating systems. Traditional distributed applications using heavy-weight and disjoint computation processes could be merged as concurrent threads in a multi- threaded platform to take advantage of faster context switches and interprocess communication via shared memory. We ported an existing distributed system from UNIX to MACH and merged some singlethreaded processes into one multithreaded task using shared memory for interprocess communication. pp In this report we address the benefits, difficulties, and trade-offs of such a re-architecture, and also attempt to lay down a rough path for future efforts by identifying potential problems (those that we encountered), and solutions. We also comment on some feasible architectures for migrating current distributed applications to multithreaded environments.

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