Definition

SMP (symmetric multiprocessing)

SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) is the processing of programs by multiple processors that share a common operating system and memory. In symmetric (or "tightly coupled") multiprocessing, the processors share memory and the I/O bus or data path. A single copy of the operating system is in charge of all the processors. SMP, also known as a "shared everything" system, does not usually exceed 16 processors.

SMP systems are considered better than MPP systems for online transaction processing (OTP) in which many users access the same database in a relatively simple set of transactions. An advantage of SMP for this purpose is the ability to dynamically balance the workload among computers (and as a result serve more users faster).

Contributor(s): Orjan Timan
This was last updated in March 2007
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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