Operating System Support for Multi-User, Remote, Graphical Interaction
Wong, Alexander Ya-li
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CitationWong, Alexander Ya-li and Margo Seltzer. 1999. Operating System Support for Multi-User, Remote, Graphical Interaction. Harvard Computer Science Group Technical Report TR-14-99.
AbstractThe rising popularity of thin client computing and multi-user, remote, graphical interaction recalls to the fore a range of operating system research issues long dormant, and introduces a number of new directions. This paper investigates the impact of operating system design on the performance of thin client service. We contend that the key performance metric for this type of system is user-perceived latency and give a structured approach for investigating operating system design with this criterion in mind. In particular, we apply our approach to a quantitative comparison and analysis of Windows NT, Terminal Server Edition (TSE), and Linux with the X Windows System, two popular implementations of thin client service. We find that the processor and memory scheduling algorithms in both operating systems are not tuned for thin client service. Under heavy CPU and memory load, we observed user-perceived latencies up to 100 times beyond the threshold of perception and even in the idle state these systems induce unnecessary latency. TSE performs particularly poorly despite scheduler modifications to improve interactive responsiveness. We also show that TSE’s network protocol outperforms X by up to six times, and also makes use of a bitmap cache which is essential for handling dynamic elements of modern user interfaces and can reduce network load in these cases by up to 2000%.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:25620493
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