Experiences with Locking in a NUMA Multiprocessor
Operating System Kernel
Ronald C. Unrau, Orran Krieger, Benjamin Gamsa, and Michael Stumm
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Department of Computer Science
University of Toronto
We describe the locking architecture of a new operating system,
Hurricane, designed for large scale shared-memory multiprocessors.
Many papers already describe kernel locking techniques, and some of
the techniques we use have been previously described by others.
However, our work is novel in the particular combination of techniques
used, as well as several of the individual techniques themselves.
Moreover, it is the way the techniques work together that is the
source of our performance advantages and scalability. Briefly, we
- a hybrid coarse-grain/fine-grain locking strategy that has
the low latency and space overhead of a coarse-grain locking
strategy while having the high concurrency of a fine-grain
- replication of data structures to increase access bandwidth
and improve concurrency;
- a clustered kernel that bounds the number of processors that
can compete for a lock so as to reduce second order effects
such as memory and interconnect contention;
- Distributed Locks to further reduce second order effects,
with modifications that reduce the uncontended latency of
these locks to close to that of spin locks.
Download the full text of this paper in
ASCII (80,060 bytes) and
POSTSCRIPT (212,942 bytes) form.
To Become a USENIX Member, please see our