Technical Area

Single-System Image



The problem

In a cluster of workstations or the Grid, each node has a certain amount of resources that can only be used from that node, if nothing is done. This restriction limits the power of such systems. The ideal scenario would one where all these resources (memory, disks, CPU, etc. )  become available from any node regardless of their physical attachment. Furthermore, this sharing would be perfect if it were done in a transparent way to users.

The solution

The proposed solution for this problem consists of implementing a middle-ware layer that glues togther all operating systems on all nodes offering a unified access to system resources. We call this a single-system image.

The benefits

The most important advantages of a system with a single-system image can be summarizes as the following:

The layers implementing it

The effect of a single-system image can be offered by one or more of the following layers

The key services for a single-system image system

Related research links
(This list is by no means comprehensive. If you know of any other interesting link, please send it to me)

Academic Projects
Commercial products
Contact details
Coordinator: Toni Cortes

Postal mail:
Departament d'Arquitectura de Computadors
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Campus Nord - C6-118
C/ Jordi Girona 1-3
E-08034 Barcelona

E-mail: or

Phone: +34 93 4016950
Fax: +34 93 4017055

This page is maintained by Toni Cortes. If you have any comments, please send him a message.