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Main Differences between a Scheduler and Dispatcher in IT

There’s no denying that the current crop of computers in circulation is way better and more improved than what we had several decades ago. And this boils down to one important factor – multitasking. Similarly, the advancement in multitasking can be linked to efficient process scheduling allotted to a PC.

That’s not all, scheduling relies further on two major processes: Scheduler and Dispatcher. In this article, we’re going to dissect the major differences between both concepts, but before we proceed, let’s look into what a scheduler and dispatcher is.

What is a Scheduler?

A scheduler is undoubtedly one of the major components in any IT infrastructure. According to Techopedia, a scheduler is a system software that chooses the tasks that will be submitted to a computer and it decides the process that will run. Basically, it schedules and tracks batch tasks of a computer.

What is a dispatcher?

A dispatcher is the module that comes into effect right after the scheduler. The moment the scheduler finishes its task of choosing a process, the dispatcher takes the process to the queue or state. In essence, the dispatcher gives that process the required control in the Central Processing Unit (CPU) after selection by the short term scheduler.

Differences between a Scheduler and Dispatcher

To understand the core differences between a scheduler and a dispatcher, let’s take a look at this situation. There are several processes in the ready queue, all waiting to be performed. The CPU can’t perform these processes at the same time, so the OS has to select a specific process that is based on the scheduling algorithm that was used.

As a result, the process of choosing a process between several processes is implemented by the scheduler. After the scheduler selects a process from others on the queue, then the dispatcher begins its job. It takes the process from the ready queue and runs it.

Here are other differences between the scheduler and dispatcher.

Parameters Scheduler Dispatcher
Dependency The entire workings of a scheduler happen autonomously. It occurs pretty instantaneously as and when needed.


The general performance of a dispatcher is influenced entirely by the scheduler. This implies that the dispatcher waits until the scheduler executes the picking of processes.
Time Taken The general time taken by a regular scheduler is quite negligible. For that reason, it is often neglected.


Dispatch latency means the time taken by a dispatcher.


Types Schedulers come in three major types; short term, medium term, and long term.


Dispatchers have no major type. It’s a kind of code segment.
Functions The only work of a scheduler is to execute the selection of several processes. A dispatcher is in charge of Switching to user mode, Switching of Context, and Jumping into the proper location of a user to restart that particular program.


Algorithm A standard scheduler works on numerous types of algorithms such as FCFS, SJF, RR, etc.


There is no exact algorithm to implement a Dispatcher.


What Is Dispatching In Business?

Unlike its meaning in IT, dispatching in business means something different entirely. According to MBA Skool, dispatching entails assigning an order associated with problem resolution or manufacturing to the necessary operating point – which could be a worker – which depends on production planning and capacity availability.

Thanks to dispatching, plans are executed with little or no hindrance in businesses to ensure smooth operations. It is carried out by a dispatcher that knows the abilities of various operating points. The dispatcher also monitors and tracks orders that are in the system. Most importantly, dispatching builds a link between sales and production.


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