8 Difference Between Spooling And Buffering In OS

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What Is Spooling?  

Spooling is a process in which data is temporarily held to be used and executed by a device, program or the system. Data is sent to and stored in memory or other volatile storage until the program or computer requests it for execution.”Spool” is technically an acronym for simultaneous peripheral operations online.

Generally, the spool is maintained on the computer’s physical memory, buffers or the I/O device-specific interrupts. The spool is processed in ascending order, working on the basis of a FIFO (first in, first out) algorithm. Spooling works like a typical request queue or spool where data, instructions and processes from multiple sources are accumulated for execution later on. 

In spooling, there is no interaction between the I/O devices and the CPU. That means there is no need for the CPU to wait for the I/O operations to take place. Such operations take a long time to finish executing, so the CPU will not wait for them to finish. An operating system does the following activities related to the distributed environment:

  • Handles I/O device data spooling as devices have different data access rates.
  • Maintains the spooling buffer, which provides a waiting station where data can rest while the slower device catches up.
  • Maintains parallel computation because of the spooling process as a computer can perform I/O in parallel order. It becomes possible to have the computer read data from a tape, write data to disk, and write out to a tape printer while it is doing its computing task.

The most common implementation of spooling can be found in typical input/output devices such as the keyboard, mouse and printer. For example, in printer spooling, the documents/files that are sent to the printer are first stored in the memory or printer spooler. Once the printer is ready, it fetches the data from that spool and prints it.

What You Need To Know About Spooling

  • Spooling is a type of multi-programming that allows users to copy data between several devices.
  • The basic operation of spooling is the overlap of one task’s input and output with the calculation of another task.
  • Spooling helps in the exchange of data between devices with various data access rates.
  • Spooling needs less resource management than buffering because various resources control the process for different jobs.
  • A large area on the hard disk is available for the spooling operation to execute and then complete.
  • The spooling is more efficient than the buffering.

What Is Buffering?

 Buffering is the process of preloading data into a reserved area of memory that’s called a buffer. In the context of streaming video or audio, buffering is when the software downloads a certain amount of data before it begins playing the video or music. In other words, buffer temporarily stores data transmitted from one place to another, either between two devices or an application. The act of storing data temporarily in the buffer is called buffering.

A buffer may be used when moving data between processes within a computer. Buffers can be implemented in a fixed memory location in hardware or by using a virtual data buffer in software, pointing at a location in the physical memory. In all cases, the data in a data buffer are stored on a physical storage medium.

Most buffers are implemented in software, which typically uses the faster RAM to store temporary data due to the much faster access time than hard disk drives. Buffers are typically used when there is a difference between the rate of received data and the rate of processed data, for example, in a printer spooler or online video streaming.

A buffer often adjusts timing by implementing a queue or FIFO algorithm in memory, simultaneously writing data into the queue at one rate and reading it at another rate.

What You Need To Know About Spooling

  • Buffering is the act of temporarily storing data in a buffer. The buffer is a part of the main memory used to temporarily store or hold data sent between two devices.
  • The general process of buffering is the overlapping of input and output from one function with the task count.
  • The buffering assists in the adaptation to speed differences between data stream producers and consumers.
  • Buffering needs higher resource management than spooling because the same resource handles the process of the same divided job.
  • A small area with limited scope may be used for buffering.
  • The buffering process takes less time to finish in comparison to spooling.

Difference Between Spooling And Buffering In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON SPOOLING BUFFERING
Description Spooling is a type of multi-programming that allows users to copy data between several devices.   Buffering is the act of temporarily storing data in a buffer.
Basic Operation The basic operation of spooling is the overlap of one task’s input and output with the calculation of another task.   The general process of buffering is the overlapping of input and output from one function with the task count.  
Purpose Spooling helps in the exchange of data between devices with various data access rates.   The buffering assists in the adaptation to speed differences between data stream producers and consumers.  
Resources Spooling needs less resource management than buffering because various resources control the process for different jobs.   Buffering needs higher resource management than spooling because the same resource handles the process of the same divided job.  
Area Required A large area on the hard disk is available for the spooling operation to execute and then complete.   A small area with limited scope may be used for buffering.  
Efficiency The spooling is more efficient than the buffering.   Buffering is less efficient than spooling.

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