Unikernels Everywhere: The Case for Elastic CDNs

Simon Kuenzer, Anton Ivanov, Filipe Manco, Jose Mendes, Yuri Volchkov, Florian Schmidt, Kenichi Yasukata, Michio Honda, Felipe Huici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Video streaming dominates the Internet’s overall traffic mix, with reports stating that it will constitute 90% of all consumer traffic by 2019. Most of this video is delivered by Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), and, while they optimize QoE metrics such as buffering ratio and start-up time, no single CDN provides optimal performance. In this paper we make the case for elastic CDNs, the ability to build virtual CDNs on-the-fly on top of shared, third-party infrastructure at a scale. To bring this idea closer to reality we begin by large-scale simulations to quantify the effects that elastic CDNs would have if deployed, and build and evaluate MiniCache, a specialized, minimalistic virtualized content cache that runs on the Xen hypervisor. MiniCache is able to serve content at rates of up to 32 Gb/s and handle up to 600K reqs/sec on a single CPU core, as well as boot in about 90 milliseconds on x86 and around 370 milliseconds on ARM32.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15–29
Number of pages15
JournalACM Sigplan Notices
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2017
Event13th ACM SIGPLAN/SIGOPS International Conference on Virtual Execution Environments - Xi'an, China
Duration: 8 Apr 20179 Apr 2017


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  • Unikernels Everywhere: The Case for Elastic CDNs

    Kuenzer, S., Ivanov, A., Manco, F., Mendes, J., Volchkov, Y., Schmidt, F., Yasukata, K., Honda, M. & Huici, F., 8 Apr 2017, Proceedings of the 13th ACM SIGPLAN/SIGOPS International Conference on Virtual Execution Environments. New York, NY, USA: ACM Association for Computing Machinery, p. 15–29 15 p. (ACM SIGPLAN Notices; vol. 52).

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

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