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German National Research Center for Computer Science GMD FIRST at the Technical University of Berlin Hardenbergplatz 2, 1000 Berlin 12, FRG


Principal Investigator
Wolfgang Schr?oder?Preikschat
Friedrich Sch?on

Ralph Berg
J?org Cordsen
J?org Heuer
R?udiger Krahl
J?org Nolte
Bernd Oestmann
Michael Sander
Henning Schmidt
Matthias Wilhelmi


Dr. Wolfgang Schr?oder?Preikschat
Hardenbergplatz 2
1000 Berlin 12
Facsimile +49 30 254 99 172

Project Description

Since summer '86 the PEACE group at GMD FIRST is involved in the design and development of operating system software for massively parallel systems being based on distributed memory architectures. The first PEACE prototype was a microkernel-based operating system family for the 320-node SUPRENUM system. The primary purpose of PEACE was (and is) to provide a process execution and communication environment for large scale distributed applications with the focus on parallel computing. Special concern was devoted to the extension of traditional operating system family concepts into the area of distributed and massively parallel systems, i.e., understanding the idea of program families as the fundamental paradigm to design and implement PEACE. The resulting PEACE operating system family

demonstrates excellent communication performance for distributed systems. However, being microkernel-based PEACE fails to satisfy the crucial performance parameters in parallel systems, i.e., 10 ?sec. for a 40 MIPS processor. From the beginning of '90 PEACE is the subject for a complete redesign from scratch. The new PEACE evolved to an object-oriented parallel operating system, using object-orientation in design and implementation and providing an object-oriented, and thus, open system interface. A process execution and communication environment is introduced by a family of custom-made kernels, constituting the minimal basis. Thus, operating systems can be constructed in terms of an object-oriented computing surface providing object support to user applications. This ensures that an application defines the functional enrichment of a minimal basis, thereby bridging the range from single processing (i.e., a kernel representation in the form of a communication library directly linked to the application task) to multi-user/multi-tasking (i.e., a multi-server environment).

The object-oriented PEACE exists as guest level on top of some host operating system and takes also the form as a native operating system running directly on the bare hardware. PEACE runs on top of UNIX within workstation?networks,on top of PARIX for (T800? based, 64 node) Transputer systems (Parsytec GmbH), SUPRENUM (mc68020?based, 320 node), and MANNA (2 x i860-based, 16 node).

Report Availability

Technical reports and other documents concerning PEACE are available via anonymous FTP from []. The papers are located in the directory /ftp/gmd/peace.