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In this paper the authors examine the problem of extending modern operating systems to run efficiently on large-scale shared memory multiprocessors without a large implementation effort. The approach brings back an idea popular in the 1970s, virtual machine monitors. They use virtual machines to run multiple commodity operating systems on a scalable multiprocessor. This solution addresses many of the challenges facing the system software for these machines. They demonstrate the approach with a prototype called Disco that runs multiple copies of silicon Graphics' IRIX operating system on a multiprocessor.
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