Network Structure

Network Structure

There are basically two types of networks: local-area networks (LAN) and wide-area networks (WAN). The main difference between the two is the way in which they are geographically distributed. Local-area networks are composed of processors distributed over small areas (such as a single building? or a number of adjacent buildings), whereas wide-area networks are composed of a number of autonomous processors distributed over a large area (such as the United States). These differences imply major variations in the speed and reliability of the communications network, and they are reflected in the distributed operating-system design.

 Local-Area Networks

 Local-area networks emerged in the early 1970s as a substitute for large mainframe computer systems. For many enterprises, it is more economical to have a number of small computers, each with its own self-contained applications, than to have a single large system. Because each small computer is likely to need a full complement of peripheral devices (such as disks and printers), and because some form of data sharing is likely to occur in a single enterprise, it was a natural step to connect these small systems into a network.

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LANs, as mentioned, are usually designed to cover a small geographical area (such as a single building or a few adjacent buildings) and are generally used in an office environment. All the sites in such systems are close to one another, so the communication links tend to have a higher speed and lower error rate than do their counterparts in wide-area networks.

High-quality (expensive) cables are needed to attain this higher speed and reliability. It is also possible to use the cable exclusively for data network traffic. Over longer distances, the cost of using high-quality cable is enormous, and the exclusive use of the cable tends to be prohibitive.

The most common links in a local-area network are twisted-pair and fiberoptic cabling. The most common configurations are multiaccess bus, ring, and star networks. Communication speeds range from 1 megabit per second, for networks such as AppleTalk, infrared, and the new Bluetooth local radio network, to 1 gigabit per second for gigabit Ethernet.

Ten megabits per second is most common and is the speed of lOBaseT Ethernet. 100BaseT Ethernet requires a higher-quality cable but runs at 100 megabits per second and is becoming common. Also growing is the use of optical-fiber-based FDDI networking.

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The FDDI network is token-based and runs at over 100 megabits per second. A typical LAN may consist of a number of different computers (from mainframes to laptops or PDAs), various shared peripheral devices (such as laser printers and magnetic-tape drives), and one or more gateways (specialized processors) that provide access to other networks (Figure 16.2).

Network Structure

An Ethernet scheme is commonly vised to construct LANs. An Ethernet network has no central controller, because it is a multiaccess bus, so new hosts can be added easily to the network. The Ethernet protocol is defined by the IEEE 802.3 standard.

Wide-Area Networks

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Wide-area networks emerged in the late 1960s, mainly as an academic research project to provide efficient communication among sites, allowing hardware and software to be shared conveniently and economically by a wide community of visers. The first WAN to be designed and developed was the Arpanet. Begun in 1968, the Arpanet has grown from a four-site experimental network to a worldwide network of networks, the Internet, comprising millions of computer systems. Because the sites in a WAN are physically distributed over a large geographical area, the communication links are, by default, relatively slow and unreliable.

Network Structure

Typical links are telephone lines, leased (dedicated data) lines, microwave links, and satellite channels. These commvmication links are controlled by special communication processors (Figure 16.3), which are responsible for defining the interface through which the sites communicate over the network, as well as for transferring information among the various sites. For example, the Internet WAN provides the ability for hosts at geographj ically separated sites to communicate with one another.

The host computers ] typically differ from one another in type, speed, word length, operating system, i and so on. Hosts are generally on LANs, which are, in turn, connected to J the Internet via regional networks. The regional networks, such as NSFnet \ in the northeast United States, are interlinked with routers (Section 16.5.2) • to form the worldwide network. Connections between networks frequently j use a telephone-system service called Tl, which provides a transfer rate of 1.544 megabits per second over a leased line. For sites requiring faster Internet access, Tls are collected into multiple-Tl units that work in parallel to provide more throughput. For instance, a T3 is composed of 28 Tl connections and 5 has a transfer rate of 45 megabits per second. The routers control the path *

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• each message takes through the net. This routing may be either dynamic, to : increase communication efficiency, or static, to reduce security risks or to allow

 • communication charges to be computed.

Other WANs use standard telephone lines as their primary means of communication. Modems are devices that accept digital data from the computer side and convert it to the analog signals that the telephone system uses. A modem at the destination site converts the analog signal back to digital form, and the destination receives the data.

The UNIX news network, UUCP, allows systems to communicate with each other at predetermined times, via modems, to exchange messages. The messages are then routed to other nearby systems and in this way either are propagated to all hosts on the network (public messages) or are transferred to their destination (private messages). WANs are generally slower than LANs; their transmission rates range from 1,200 bits per second to over 1 megabit per second. UUCP has been superseded by PPP, the point-to-point protocol. PPP functions over modem connections, allowing home computers to be fully connected to the Internet.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Ans: Example: The WAFL File System Disk I/O has a huge impact on system performance. As a result, file-system design and implementation command quite a lot of attention from system designers. Some file systems are general purpose, in that they can provide reasonable performance and functionality for a wide variety of file sizes, file types, and I/O loads. Others are optimized for specific tasks in an attempt to provide better performance in those areas than general-purpose file systems. view more..
Ans: Log-Structured File Systems Computer scientists often find that algorithms and technologies originally used in one area are equally useful in other areas. Such is the case with the database log-based recovery algorithms described in Section 6.9.2. These logging algorithms have been applied successfully to the problem of consistency checking. The resulting implementations are known as log-based transaction-oriented (or journaling) file systems. view more..
Ans: Recovery Files and directories are kept both in main memory and on disk, and care must taken to ensure that system failure does not result in loss of data or in data inconsistency. view more..
Ans: Network Structure There are basically two types of networks: local-area networks (LAN) and wide-area networks (WAN). The main difference between the two is the way in which they are geographically distributed. Local-area networks are composed of processors distributed over small areas (such as a single building? or a number of adjacent buildings), whereas wide-area networks are composed of a number of autonomous processors distributed over a large area (such as the United States). These differences imply major variations in the speed and reliability of the communications network, and they are reflected in the distributed operating-system design. view more..
Ans: Network Topology The sites in a distributed system can be connected physically in a variety of ways. Each configuration has advantages and disadvantages. We can compare the configurations by using the following criteria: • Installation cost. The cost of physically linking the sites in the system • Communication cost. The cost in time and money to send a message from site A to site B 16.4 Network Topology 621 • Availability. The extent to which data can be accessed despite the failure of some links or sites view more..
Ans: Revocation of Access Rights In a dynamic protection system, we may sometimes need to revoke access rights to objects shared by different users view more..
Ans: We survey two capability-based protection systems. These systems vary in their complexity and in the types of policies that can be implemented on them. Neither system is widely used, but they are interesting proving grounds for protection theories view more..
Ans: Robustness A distributed system may suffer from various types of hardware failure. The failure of a link, the failure of a site, and the loss of a message are the most common types. To ensure that the system is robust, we must detect any of these failures, reconfigure the system so that computation can continue, and recover when a site or a link is repaired. view more..
Ans: Design Issues Making the multiplicity of processors and storage devices transparent to the users has been a key challenge to many designers. Ideally, a distributed system should look to its users like a conventional, centralized system. The1 user interface of a transparent distributed system should not distinguish between local and remote resources. That is, users should be able to access remote resources as though these resources were local, and the distributed system should be responsible for locating the resources and for arranging for the appropriate interaction. view more..
Ans: Design Principles Microsoft's design goals for Windows XP include security, reliability, Windows and POSIX application compatibility, high performance, extensibility, portability, and international support. view more..
Ans: Input and Output To the user, the I/O system in Linux looks much like that in any UNIX system. That is, to the extent possible, all device drivers appear as normal files. A user can open an access channel to a device in the same way she opens any other file—devices can appear as objects within the file system. The system administrator can create special files within a file system that contain references to a specific device driver, and a user opening such a file will be able to read from and write to the device referenced. By using the normal file-protection system, which determines who can access which file, the administrator can set access permissions for each device. Linux splits all devices into three classes: block devices, character devices, and network devices. view more..
Ans: Communication Protocols When we are designing a communication network, we must deal with the inherent complexity of coordinating asynchronous operations communicating in a potentially slow and error-prone environment. In addition, the systems on the network must agree on a protocol or a set of protocols for determining host names, locating hosts on the network, establishing connections, and so on. view more..
Ans: Naming and Transparency Naming is a mapping between logical and physical objects. For instance, users deal with logical data objects represented by file names, whereas the system manipulates physical blocks of data stored on disk tracks. Usually, a user refers to a file by a textual name. view more..
Ans: Stateful Versus Stateless Service There are two approaches for storing server-side information when a client accesses remote files: Either the server tracks each file being accessed byeach client, or it simply provides blocks as they are requested by the client without knowledge of how those blocks are used. In the former case, the service provided is stateful; in the latter case, it is stateless. view more..
Ans: Computer-Security Classifications The U.S. Department of Defense Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria specify four security classifications in systems: A, B, C, and D. This specification is widely used to determine the security of a facility and to model security solutions, so we explore it here. The lowest-level classification is division D, or minimal protection. Division D includes only one class and is used for systems that have failed to meet the requirements of any of the other security classes. For instance, MS-DOS and Windows 3.1 are in division D. Division C, the next level of security, provides discretionary protection and accountability of users and their actions through the use of audit capabilities. view more..
Ans: An Example: Windows XP Microsoft Windows XP is a general-purpose operating system designed to support a variety of security features and methods. In this section, we examine features that Windows XP uses to perform security functions. For more information and background on Windows XP, see Chapter 22. The Windows XP security model is based on the notion of user accounts. Windows XP allows the creation of any number of user accounts, which can be grouped in any manner. Access to system objects can then be permitted or denied as desired. Users are identified to the system by a unique security ID. When a user logs on, Windows XP creates a security access token that includes the security ID for the user, security IDs for any groups of which the user is a member, and a list of any special privileges that the user has. view more..
Ans: An Example: Networking We now return to the name-resolution issue raised in Section 16.5.1 and examine its operation with respect to the TCP/IP protocol stack on the Internet. We consider the processing needed to transfer a packet between hosts on different Ethernet networks. In a TCP/IP network, every host has a name and an associated 32-bit Internet number (or host-id). view more..
Ans: Application I/O interface In this section, we discuss structuring techniques and interfaces for the operating system that enable I/O devices to be treated in a standard, uniform way. We explain, for instance, how an application can open a file on a disk without knowing what kind of disk it is and how new disks and other devices can be added to a computer without disruption of the operating system. Like other complex software-engineering problems, the approach here involves abstraction, encapsulation, and software layering. Specifically we can abstract away the detailed differences in I/O devices by identifying a fewgeneral kinds. Each general kind is accessed through a standardized set of functions—an interface. The differences are encapsulated in kernel modules called device drivers that internally are custom-tailored to each device but that export one of the standard interfaces. view more..

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