Difference between Buffering and Caching in Operating System
Most users are confused by the terms buffering and caching. Although they both temporarily store the data, they are not the same. Buffering is mainly used to match the communication speed between the sender and the receiver. On the other hand, cache improves the access speed to frequently used data.
In this article, you will learn about the difference between Buffering and Caching in the operating system. But before discussing the differences, you must know about the Buffering and Caching in the operating system.
What is Buffering?
Buffering is a component of the main memory (RAM) that temporarily holds data while it is being sent between two devices. Buffering aids in matching the data stream's transmitter and receiver speeds. If the sender's transfer rate is slower than the receiver's, a buffer in the receiver's main memory is created which stores the bytes received from the sender. When all of the bytes of data have arrived, the receiver has data to work with.
Buffering is also useful when the data transfer sizes of the sender and receiver differ. Buffers are used in computer networking to fragment and reassemble data. On the sender side, the large amount of data is divided into little packets and sent over the network. On the receiver side, a buffer is generated that gathers all the data packets and collects them to make a large amount of data set again.
For application I/O, buffering also enables copy semantics. You may use an example to explain copy semantics. Let's say a program has data in a buffer that must be written to the hard drive. The application uses the write() system function to complete it. Suppose an application modifies the buffer data before the system call returns. In this situation, copy semantic offers the data version at the time of the system call.
Example: Let's take an example of buffering with printer spoolers in which you may pass many pages to print as input; however, the processing and printing are slow. Here, buffering is used.
Features of Buffering in Operating System
There are various features of buffering in the OS. Some features of the buffering are as follows:
What is Caching?
The cache is the processor-implemented memory that holds the original data copy. The main concept behind the caching memory is that the recently accessed disk blocks should be saved in the cache memory so that if any user again requires access to the same disk blocks, it may be handled locally via the cache memory eliminating the network traffic.
Cache memory size is limited because it only stores recently used data in the memory. You may also see changes in the original file when you change the cache file. If you need the data that is not in the cache memory, it is copied from the source to the cached memory and made available to the user the next time the data is requested.
The cache data may also be stored on disk instead of RAM, which is more reliable. If the computer system is destroyed, the cached data remains on the disk, but data will be lost in volatile memory, such as RAM. One main benefit of storing cached data in the main memory is that it may be accessed quickly.
Example: Cache is utilized in systems to increase speed access to usually used data.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Caching
There are various advantages and disadvantages of caching in the operating system. Some advantages and disadvantages of caching are as follows:
Key differences between Buffering and Caching in Operating System
There are various key differences between Buffering and Caching in the operating system. Some main differences between Buffering and Caching are as follows:
Head-to-head comparison between the Buffering and Caching Operating System
The OS has various head-to-head comparisons between Buffering and Caching. Some comparisons of Buffering and Caching are as follows:
Buffering and caching both temporarily store data, although they serve different purposes. The buffer matches the speed of two communication devices. On the other hand, the cache speeds up access to data that is visited frequently.