Velocity Reviews - Computer Hardware Reviews

Velocity Reviews > Newsgroups > Computing > NZ Computing > Microkernels & Reliability vs Performance

Reply
Thread Tools

Microkernels & Reliability vs Performance

 
 
Lawrence D'Oliveiro
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-22-2010
Andy “Minix” Tanenbaum is still pushing the microkernel idea
<http://www.linuxpromagazine.com/Online/News/FOSDEM-2010-Andrew-Tanenbaum-Sets-Reliability-Before-Performance>.

Frankly, I don’t buy the reliability argument. His idea of “reliability” is
that the microkernel still keeps running, even though a device driver
crashes. But if a disk driver crashes, what happens to your filesystem? And
if a display driver crashes, what happens to all your interactive processes?
As far as the user is concerned, the result might as well be a system crash.

Also there are other ways of increasing system reliability, through things
like clustering. Who cares if one node crashes? The others simply take up
the slack until it comes up again. Introducing the overheads of a
microkernel just to improve single-node reliability seems, in this day and
age, to be a complete waste of time.
 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
Sweetpea
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-22-2010
On Mon, 22 Mar 2010 17:02:58 +1300, Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:

> Frankly, I don’t buy the reliability argument.


I *DO* buy the reliability argument - the kernel should not crash, and neither should the device drivers!

But, I see little value in using a micro-kernel.


--
"Filtering the Internet is like trying to boil the ocean"
 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
 
Lawrence D'Oublespeak
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-22-2010
In message <ho6q5j$kbj$(E-Mail Removed)>, Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:

> Andy “Minix” Tanenbaum is still pushing the microkernel idea
> <http://www.linuxpromagazine.com/Online/News/FOSDEM-2010-Andrew-Tanenbaum-Sets-Reliability-Before-Performance>.


“That imposterbull character is giving my ass a real whipping when
I pick on Dimdows. Maybe I had better pick on another operating
system like Minix which imposterbull doesn't care about.”

> Frankly, I don’t buy the reliability argument. His idea of “reliability” is
> that the microkernel still keeps running, even though a device driver
> crashes. But if a disk driver crashes, what happens to your filesystem? And
> if a display driver crashes, what happens to all your interactive processes?
> As far as the user is concerned, the result might as well be a system crash.


“If a DVD driver dies while you are watching a DVD movie, you could
still save any work you had open at the same time. I am worried
that if people get to hear about this, they might switch to Minix
instead of Linux and I won't be able to dream about getting big
fat Linux Consultant fees. I had better act as if every single
driver is one whose crash is equivalent to a system crash. Maybe
I can fool enough people to keep my dream alive.”

> Also there are other ways of increasing system reliability, through things
> like clustering. Who cares if one node crashes? The others simply take up
> the slack until it comes up again.


“Of course clustering is for servers and not your average desktop.
There is a risk that I could appear to be completely out of touch
with the desktop. But I can feel safe that imposterbull will not
expose me. Imposterbull will stop reading as soon as he sees I am
picking on Minix and not Dimdows.”

> Introducing the overheads of a
> microkernel just to improve single-node reliability seems, in this day and
> age, to be a complete waste of time.


“If there ever was an overhead argument, it could also be applied
to using Java like OOo does. OOo is FOSS software which I promote.
In this day and age CPUs are more powerful than ever, so the
argument about overheads has less weight than it ever did. Maybe
I should have kept my mouth shut and my keyboard stowed away.”


 
Reply With Quote
 
peterwn
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-23-2010
On Mar 23, 12:28*am, Lawrence D'Oublespeak <l...@crok-
central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:
<snip>

Hi 'Impossible'
 
Reply With Quote
 
David Goodwin
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-24-2010
On 22 Mar, 17:02, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <l...@geek-
central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:
> Andy Minix Tanenbaum is still pushing the microkernel idea
> <http://www.linuxpromagazine.com/Online/News/FOSDEM-2010-Andrew-Tanenb...>.
>
> Frankly, I dont buy the reliability argument. His idea of reliability is
> that the microkernel still keeps running, even though a device driver
> crashes. But if a disk driver crashes, what happens to your filesystem? And
> if a display driver crashes, what happens to all your interactive processes?
> As far as the user is concerned, the result might as well be a system crash.


Depends on how its implemented. Its certainly annoying when my
graphics
driver crashes under Windows NT 6 but nothing serious happens - screen
goes
blank for a few seconds and a balloon appears over the system tray
saying my
graphics driver was restarted because it did something stupid.

With a bit of careful design and effort I'd say it would be possible
to recover from
a disk driver crash. You might loose what ever was in cache in the
process but
nothing would fall over and die. Driver crashes, reincarnation server
restarts it,
things keep running with perhaps a write failure or two. Total loss
would be
like pulling out your USB drive before asking the OS to unmount it.

Also, AST is right - I'd quite happily take a small performance hit to
improve stability.
Waiting for my machine to come back up after some badly written driver
crashed
does not help with productivity.

> Also there are other ways of increasing system reliability, through things
> like clustering. Who cares if one node crashes? The others simply take up
> the slack until it comes up again. Introducing the overheads of a
> microkernel just to improve single-node reliability seems, in this day and
> age, to be a complete waste of time.


Not everything is a server. Can't really cluster desktop workstations.
 
Reply With Quote
 
David Goodwin
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-24-2010
On 23 Mar, 00:28, Lawrence D'Oublespeak <l...@crok-
central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:
> In message <ho6q5j$(E-Mail Removed)>, Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
>
> > Andy Minix Tanenbaum is still pushing the microkernel idea
> > <http://www.linuxpromagazine.com/Online/News/FOSDEM-2010-Andrew-Tanenb....>.

>
> * That imposterbull character is giving my ass a real whipping when
> * *I pick on Dimdows. Maybe I had better pick on another operating
> * *system like Minix which imposterbull doesn't care about.
>
> > Frankly, I dont buy the reliability argument. His idea of reliability is
> > that the microkernel still keeps running, even though a device driver
> > crashes. But if a disk driver crashes, what happens to your filesystem? And
> > if a display driver crashes, what happens to all your interactive processes?
> > As far as the user is concerned, the result might as well be a system crash.

>
> * If a DVD driver dies while you are watching a DVD movie, you could
> * *still save any work you had open at the same time. I am worried
> * *that if people get to hear about this, they might switch to Minix
> * *instead of Linux and I won't be able to dream about getting big
> * *fat Linux Consultant fees. I had better act as if every single
> * *driver is one whose crash is equivalent to a system crash. Maybe
> * *I can fool enough people to keep my dream alive.


I doubt anyone would switch to minix impossible. Its not very fast and
lacks
features such as a proper memory manager. The OS has been written to
be easy
to understand (its used as a teaching tool - a lot of the code is in
the appendix of
ASTs book Operating Systems: Design and Implementation) which puts a
bit of
a limit on what can be put in it.

Haiku is more of a threat really. AFAIK it uses a Hybrid kernel like
Windows NT,
MacOS X, etc.
 
Reply With Quote
 
Lawrence D'Oliveiro
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-24-2010
In message <6cb16815-d424-4e5e-
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)>, David Goodwin wrote:

> Also, AST is right - I'd quite happily take a small performance hit to
> improve stability.


In that case, why don’t you? He’s offering his Minix kernel, that does
exactly that, so why don’t you use it?
 
Reply With Quote
 
David Goodwin
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-24-2010
On 24 Mar, 13:43, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <l...@geek-
central.gen.new_zealand> wrote:
> In message <6cb16815-d424-4e5e-
>
> (E-Mail Removed)>, David Goodwin wrote:
> > Also, AST is right - I'd quite happily take a small performance hit to
> > improve stability.

>
> In that case, why dont you? Hes offering his Minix kernel, that does
> exactly that, so why dont you use it?


Minix isn't as mature as far as desktop operating systems go. Last
time I tried Minix 3 it didn't even have a proper memory manager. IO
performance was fairly bad too so I needs some more optimisation.

I'm keeping a fairly close eye on Haikus progress though. I may well
switch my desktop linux systems over to it once driver and application
support improves. I believe it has a hybrid kernel design similar to
that which NT used to use.
 
Reply With Quote
 
Lawrence D'Oliveiro
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-24-2010
In message <99dfca57-
(E-Mail Removed)>, David Goodwin
wrote:

> On 24 Mar, 13:43, Lawrence D'Oliveiro <(E-Mail Removed)_zealand>
> wrote:
>
>> In message
>> <(E-Mail Removed)>,
>> David Goodwin wrote:
>>
>>> Also, AST is right - I'd quite happily take a small performance hit to
>>> improve stability.

>>
>> In that case, why don’t you? He’s offering his Minix kernel, that does
>> exactly that, so why don’t you use it?

>
> Minix isn't as mature as far as desktop operating systems go.


Funny, isn’t it, for a system which has been in development longer than
Linux?

Or what about GNU Hurd? Thought about using that?

Probably the one with the most widespread production use would be Mach,
which is the basis of Apple’s OS X, I believe. A system which has had a long
history of multitasking performance issues.

 
Reply With Quote
 
Sweetpea
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-24-2010
On Tue, 23 Mar 2010 17:21:23 -0700, David Goodwin wrote:

> With a bit of careful design and effort I'd say it would be possible to
> recover from a disk driver crash.


How on earth would a buggy disc driver ever get installed on a production system unless the
Administrator was so utterly incompetent???

If that's what they did then they deserve all whats coming to them!


--
"Filtering the Internet is like trying to boil the ocean"
 
Reply With Quote
 
 
 
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tanenbaum still pushing microkernels Lawrence D'Oliveiro NZ Computing 2 12-12-2008 07:18 AM
value of performance index and reliability index Matt Schneyer Windows 64bit 10 11-20-2008 01:50 AM
Reliability and Performance Monitor Mike Windows 64bit 2 04-02-2008 06:28 PM
Performance and Reliability Updates released for Vista x64 =?Utf-8?B?Q2FybG9z?= Windows 64bit 0 08-08-2007 10:24 AM
Reliability of Mozilla Backup Anxious Man Firefox 0 01-22-2004 09:01 AM



Advertisments