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.
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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).