Unikernels:library operating systems for the cloud

Madhavapeddy, Anil and Mortier, Richard and Rotsos, Charalampos and Scott, David and Singh, Balraj and Gazagnaire, Thomas and Smith, Steven and Hand, Steven and Crowcroft, Jon (2013) Unikernels:library operating systems for the cloud. ACM SIGPLAN Notices, 48 (4). 461–472. ISSN 0362-1340

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Abstract

We present unikernels, a new approach to deploying cloud services via applications written in high-level source code. Unikernels are single-purpose appliances that are compile-time specialised into standalone kernels, and sealed against modification when deployed to a cloud platform. In return they offer significant reduction in image sizes, improved efficiency and security, and should reduce operational costs. Our Mirage prototype compiles OCaml code into unikernels that run on commodity clouds and offer an order of magnitude reduction in code size without significant performance penalty. The architecture combines static type-safety with a single address-space layout that can be made immutable via a hypervisor extension. Mirage contributes a suite of type-safe protocol libraries, and our results demonstrate that the hypervisor is a platform that overcomes the hardware compatibility issues that have made past library operating systems impractical to deploy in the real-world.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
ACM SIGPLAN Notices
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1700
Subjects:
ID Code:
147110
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
08 Sep 2020 07:54
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
12 Sep 2020 08:20