Alessandro Forin, Joseph Barrera, Michael Young, Richard Rashid. Design, Implementation and Performance Evaluation of a Distributed Shared Memory Server for Mach. [postscript] [doc] A shorter version of this paper appears in the Proceedings of the Winter USENIX Conference, January 1989.

This report describes the design, implementation and performance evaluation of a virtual shared memory server for the Mach operating system. The server provided unrestricted sharing of read-write memory between tasks running on either strongly coupled or loosely coupled architectures, and any mixture thereof. A number of memory coherency algorithms have been implemented and evaluated, including a new distributed algorithm that is shown to outperform centralized ones. Some of the features of the server include support for machines with multiple page sizes, for heterogeneous shared memory, and for fault tolerance. Extensive performance measures of applications are presented, and the intrinsic costed evaluated.