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17. Server Operating System > The Exokernel

The Exokernel

A group at MIT has developed a tiny kernel-like thing that does nothing except provide access to hardware to multiple applications. The applications can include various operating systems as well, but they do not need to. So it becomes possible to write a web server that maximizes the use of hardware resources, completely bypassing all operating system overhead. The Exokernel group did this with their “Cheetah” web server and provides graphs of some impressive results at http://www.pdos.lcs.mit.edu/exo.html. While this is exciting, web server speed is not usually a problem. Database speed and dynamic content generation speed are much more important, so these perhaps would see more benefit from the Exokernel approach.


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