Swift Birth and Quick Death: Enabling Fast Parallel Guest Boot and Destruction in the Xen Hypervisor

Vlad Nitu, Pierre Olivier, Alain Tchana, Daniel Chiba, Antonio Barbalace, Daniel Hagimont, Binoy Ravindran

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

The ability to quickly set up and tear down a virtual machine is critical for today’s cloud elasticity, as well as in numerous other scenarios: guest migration/consolidation, event-driven invocation of micro-services, dynamically adaptive unikernel-based applications, micro-reboots for security or stability, etc. In this paper, we focus on the process of setting up/freeing the hypervisor and host control layer data structures at boot/destruction time, showing that it does not scale in current virtualization solutions. In addition to the direct overhead of long VM set-up/destruction times, we demonstrate by experimentation the indirect costs on real world auto scaling systems. Focusing on the popular Xen hypervisor, we identify three critical issues hindering the scalability of the boot and destruction processes: serialized boot, unscalable interactions with the Xenstore at guest creation time, and remote NUMA memory scrubbing at destruction time. For each of these issues we present the design and implementation of a solution in the Xen infrastructure: parallel boot with fine-grained locking, caching of Xenstore data, and local NUMA scrubbing. We evaluate these solutions using micro-benchmarks, macro-benchmarks, and real world datacenter traces. Results show that our work improves the current Xen implementation by a significant factor, for example macro-benchmarks indicate a speedup of more than 4X in high-load scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th ACM SIGPLAN/SIGOPS International Conference on Virtual Execution Environments
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Pages1-14
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-4948-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2017
Event13th ACM SIGPLAN/SIGOPS International Conference on Virtual Execution Environments - Xi'an, China
Duration: 8 Apr 20179 Apr 2017
https://conf.researchr.org/home/vee-2017/

Publication series

NameACM SIGPLAN Notices
PublisherACM
Volume52
ISSN (Print)0362-1340
ISSN (Electronic)1558-1160

Conference

Conference13th ACM SIGPLAN/SIGOPS International Conference on Virtual Execution Environments
Abbreviated titleVEE 2017
Country/TerritoryChina
CityXi'an
Period8/04/179/04/17
Internet address

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Virtualization
  • Cloud Computing
  • Elasticity
  • Scalability

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