CNN: The brave new OS of the future

“Meanwhile, IBM Research in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., is
hard at work making operating systems more scalable. It’s extending
Linux – and developing operating system kernels to run under it –
to control a computer with 65,000 processors. As part of its $100
million Blue Gene research project, IBM plans to build a computer
operating at 1 quadrillion floating-point operations per second to
attack problems such as protein folding.

Blue Gene is “the ultimate test” for many of the principles
unfolding in IBM’s Autonomic Computing initiative, says Bill
Pulleyblank, director of exploratory server systems at IBM
Research. The program aims to make operating systems
“self-optimizing, self-configuring, self-healing and
self-protecting,” like the human body’s autonomic nervous system,
he says.

IBM envisions “goal-oriented interfaces” between users and the
operating system, Pulleyblank says. “Instead of [the application]
saying, ‘Hey, operating system, give me more memory or more disk
space,’ it says, ‘The average response time I need on these
transactions must be at most 10msec. Do it.’ “

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