Frans Kaashoek is a full professor in MIT's EECS department and a member of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, where he coleads the parallel and distributed operating systems group (http://www.pdos.csail.mit.edu/). He received a PhD (1992) from the Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) for his work on group communication in the Amoeba distributed operating system, under the supervision of A.S. Tanenbaum. Frans's principal field of interest is designing and building computer systems. In collaboration with students and colleagues, his past contributions include_once the exokernel operating system, the Click modular router, the RON overlay, the self-certifying file system, the Chord distributed hash table, and the Asbestos/Flume secure operating system. Frans is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the recipient of several awards, including the inaugural ACM SIGOPS Mark Weiser award and the 2010 ACM-Infosys Foundation award. He was a cofounder of Sightpath, Inc. (acquired by Cisco systems Inc.) and founding board member of Mazu Networks, Inc. (acquired by Riverbed Inc.).
Multicore chips with hundreds of cores will likely be available soon. Although many applications have significant inherent parallelism (e.g., mail servers), their scalability on many cores can be limited by the underlying operating system. We have built or modified several kernels (Corey, Linux, and xv6) to explore OS designs that scale with increasing number of cores. This talk will summarize our experiences by exploring questions such as what is the impact of kernel scalability on application scalability, is a revolution in kernel design necessary to achieve kernel scalability, and what limits kernel scalability.