Operating System Differences

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Operating System Differences
Amy E. Blocker, Anthony Bianca, Brent Hester, Davontae Smith, Derrick Hobbs POS 355
January 14, 2013
Mr. John Stewart

Operating System Differences
UNIX®/Linux®, Mac®, and Microsoft® Windows® have stood the test of time so to speak. Each having their particular features and functions, which depends on your personal or company needs. What we have been tasked with, is to compare and contrast the difference between basic operating systems. Memory Management

Memory management is a very important consideration when designing, building, and maintaining a network regardless of its size. The memory management system in any network is one of the most important parts of the core system, with its basic function of managing the hierarchy of CPU memory, RAM, virtual memory, and hard disks on a network, including allocation and de-allocation of memory, as well as moving the available memory between them. Without proper memory management, a network will slow down to the point of failure very quickly. This paper will be used to compare and contrast the memory management considerations between Unix/Linux, Mac, and Windows Operating Systems. Unix/Linux is one of the oldest and most widely used operating systems used in large networks today, with most network server operations running all or part of its system using a Unix/Linux based operating system. Unix/Linux is an operating system that comes in several different forms, but each one shares many of the core features, including memory management. Memory management is a part of the operating system where the network’s performance is examined and memory is allocated or de-allocated in order to optimize the speed and responsiveness of the system. This is accomplished in Unix/Linux by assigning virtual addresses to each portion of the memory processes that are running on a system starting at zero and going up to the maximum size of the virtual memory available on the system. The memory manager typically accomplishes this by dividing each process up based on the priority of the memory usage, assigning more virtual memory space as the processes require. Mac systems are the second most popular type of operating system in use by computers today, with some applications designed specifically for networks. While not as popular or widespread as windows, mac has gained a significant foothold in the world’s networks, with mac having its own set of memory management processes. Mac operating systems have a page cache system built in for managing memory on its system. A typical Mac system will examine the amount of memory that is being requested for a page cache and allocate the amount of memory required providing the request does not exhaust the available memory. Requests of data from slower processes can be assigned and retained in virtual memory for a short time while the faster processes use the available physical memory to improve performance. Windows operating systems are the most widely used network operating system today, with many variations of windows being used in larger network systems. Memory management in windows operating systems operates much in the same way that Unix/Linux and Mac operating systems operate, with the memory manager monitoring and assigning data between physical and virtual memory on its system depending on the network’s needs and abilities at any given time. Much like the other operating systems, windows can assign data to virtual memory allocated in the system’s hard drive when the physical memory becomes insufficient to run a specific process. This can reduce the performance in a system, depending on the size and speed of the hard drive on a system, although Windows will attempt to increase performance by shunting memory usage to a temporary file on the hard drive. Windows also has the ability to allow the network administrator to assign and allocate virtual memory on a system, based on the size of the network’s hard...
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