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CNN: The brave new OS of the future

Feb 14, 2002, 08:05 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Gary H. Anthes)
"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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