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can someone please give me a simple overview of Distributed Shared memory vs Distributed memory vs Shared Memory?

Posted on 2011-09-06
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A lil confused on some of the technical explanations on the web.

Thanks,

Ben
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Question by:AivsCoder
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David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 200 total points
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The advantage of (distributed) shared memory is that it offers a unified address space in which all data can be found.
The advantage of distributed memory is that it excludes race conditions, and that it forces the programmer to think about data distribution.
The advantage of distributed (shared) memory is that it is easier to design a machine that scales with the algorithm
Distributed shared memory hides the mechanism of communication - it does not hide the latency of communication.

In computer science, distributed memory refers to a multiple-processor computer system in which each processor has its own private memory. Computational tasks can only operate on local data, and if remote data is required, the computational task must communicate with one or more remote processors. In contrast, a shared memory multi processor offers a single memory space used by all processors. Processors do not have to be aware where data resides, except that there may be performance penalties, and that race conditions are to be avoided.

Distributed Shared Memory (DSM), in Computer Architecture is a form of memory architecture where the (physically separate) memories can be addressed as one (logically shared) address space. Here, the term shared does not mean that there is a single centralized memory but shared essentially means that the address space is shared (same physical address on two processors refers to the same location in memory)[1]. Alternatively in computer science it is known as (DGAS), a concept that refers to a wide class of software and hardware implementations, in which each node of a cluster has access to shared memory in addition to each node's non-shared private memory.

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_memory
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