Parallax OS - Injecting a new degree of resiliency, efficiency and scaling into Cloud Computing
The creation of Parallax OS is a joint venture between Return Infinity and Kawa Objects.
Parallax separates each CPU Core into individual DIMEs (Distributed Intelligent Managed Elements). A DIME is a self-managed computing element with its own fault, configuration, accounting, performance and security (FCAPS) management. It is capable of collaborating with other DIMEs using parallel computing and signaling networks to execute managed workflows.
Each DIME under Parallax is addressable as a separate entity via the signaling and data channels. With the signaling layer program parameters can be adjusted during run-time. DIMEs have the ability to communicate with other DIMEs for co-operation as well as the Orchestrator for compiling results. Instruction types can be directly encoded into the 16-bit EtherType field of each Ethernet frame.
Memory is assigned to a CPU core on an as-needed basis. Each CPU core maps to different pages in the linear memory system and cannot access pages that are not assigned to it. Security is provided at the hardware level for this memory protection. Once a program has completed its execution all memory that it had in use is returned to the system. Limits can be set on how much memory each DIME is able to allocate for itself.
Conventional Operating Systems allow for multiple programs or threads to share available CPU resources. This kind of sharing leads to a more complicated Operating System that needs to take care of time slice management as well as internal context switching. Parallax allows for one program per CPU core. Time slice management is not needed as each program running in a DIME gets it's own dedicated CPU core. Performance of the program also increases over running on a conventional OS as context switching is no longer a factor.
Parallax offers local storage per server (Shared with each DIME within the system) as well as centralized file storage shared via the Orchestrator between all servers. Booting the OS via the network is also a possibility for systems that do not need permanent storage as well as cost saving measures.
Under Parallax all network communication is done over raw Ethernet frames. Conventional Operating Systems use TCP/IP as the main communication protocol. By using raw packets we have a much simpler communication framework as well as removing the overhead of higher level protocols whereby increasing the maximum throughput. The use of raw Ethernet packets has already seen great success with the ATAoE protocol invented by CoRaid for use in their storage devices.