Device Management in OS :Functions and Techniques

Device Management


Device management is the process of managing the implementation, operation and maintenance of a physical and/or virtual device. It is a broad term that includes various administrative tools and processes for the maintenance and upkeep of a computing, network, mobile and/or virtual device.


Device management generally performs the following:

  • Installing device and component-level drivers and related software

  • Configuring a device so it performs as expected using the bundled operating system, business/workflow software and/or with other hardware devices.

  • Implementing security measures and processes.


Types of Devices

Operating System (OS) has three types of peripheral devices, i. e., Dedicated, Shared, and Virtual.


1. Dedicated Device:

Dedicated devices are devices of device management that allocate a single task at a time. Plotters, tape drivers, and other devices need such allocation as it is inconvenient to share with multiple users simultaneously. The main disadvantage of such a device is that it is less efficient than others as the device can use one user for the whole duration of the task.


2. Shared Device

As the name suggests, shared devices can assign for multiple processes. Moreover, the device manager needs to handle the process and policies carefully.


3. Virtual Device

The virtual device is a combination of dedicated and shared devices. Virtual devices are dedicated devices that are transformed into a shared ones. We can take the example of a printer as we can not directly send a print job to the printer. It is routed to the disk until the whole process of formatting and sequencing is prepared. Further, the printer works as a shareable device by using a particular spooling program. On the other hand, spooling program helps the printer to redirect all the requests to the disk.


Features of Device Management:

Various features of Device Management is as follows:

  1. The OS interacts with the device controllers via the device drivers while allocating the device to the multiple processes executing on the system.