The Design of PARAS Microkernel


From 1995 to 1998, I served as a member of C-DAC, the developer of India's first supercomputer, Operating System Group involved in the research and development of microkernel based operating system, called PARAS, for the C-DAC PARAM series of Supercomputers. A short discussion on PARAS microkernel can be found in our paper: A Microkernel Based Operating System for PARAM 9000. During 1995, I worked on PARAM 8600, an Intel i860 CPU based MPP system, and developed a POSIX-compliant multithreading interface, called PEACE threads, on top of the PARAS microkernel.

In 1997, a large number of developers were working on the development of PARAS microkernel for PARAM 9000, a Sun SPARC based MPP system, I was assigned the task of writing a PARAS microkernel design document. The design document was aimed at acting as a supportive information for software engineers who will be working on the future developmental and enhancement works related to PARAS microkernel. This work resulted in a (unfinished) book having seven chapters when (in 1997) C-DAC favoured the use of Clustering technolgy for the developemet of next generation PARAMs. Thus reducing the demand of building our own microkernel (of course, for this document, I think!) and natuarally our focus has shifted towards building HPCC software environment and tools for a new cluster-based PARAM series of supercomputers called PARAM 10000 (a.k.a, PARAM OpenFrame, a cluster of Sun Ultra workstations connnected throught high-speed and low latency system area networks). I have led the efforts of developing cluster management tools (such as PARMON) for Unix-class cluster-based PARAM 10000 supercomputer. Since the document has not been published anywhere, in 2000, I thought it will be good idea to publish this work as a online ebook, a millennium ePublication!



I would like to acknowledge the following members of the C-DAC Operating System Group for sharing their experience in developing PARAS microkernel system and contributing to this design document:

The comments and suggestions for further improvements are most welcome. I hope you will enjoy reading the history of a microkernel work carried out in C-DAC, India!

Rajkumar Buyya
June 2000!

In case you have problem in viewing the above chapters in PDF format, try PS (gzip) version given below: