ITEC -  Operating Systems Group

A distributed cache for fast VM booting in tightly interconnected cloud environments

  • Subject:Virtual Machines
  • Type:Study Thesis
  • Date:15.09.2011
  • Supervisor:

    Prof. Dr. Frank Bellosa, Dr. Jan Stoess

  • Graduand:Jens Kehne
  • Links:PDF
  • Abstract:

    In modern cloud computing environments, elasticity is regarded as one of the most important features. Part of this elasticity is the ability to boot virtual machines quickly to accommodate suddenly emerging workloads. However, booting large numbers of VMs simultaneously in a scalable way is a difficult problem. If the file system images used for booting are stored in a central location, it will most likely become a bottleneck. Therefore, a distributed solution is necessary. In this thesis, we present a new solution for storing kernel and ramdisk images, as well as loading these images into newly created VMs efficiently. Our approach combines a fast and scalable distributed storage system with the high bandwidth and low interconnect latency of a BlueGene/P supercomputer. The client program runs directly inside the hypervisor, thus avoiding virtualization overhead and allowing it to access the memory of the newly created VM directly. We make use of the remote DMA facilities offered by BlueGene’s interconnect to minimize the load of the storage nodes, mitigating the potential bottleneck they pose. The resulting system is both fast and scalable. It can boot large numbers of VMs simultaneously with low delay.


    author = {Jens Kehne},
    title = {A distributed cache for fast VM booting in tightly interconnected cloud environments},
    type = {Study Thesis},
    address = {System Architecture Group, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany},
    month = sep # "15",
    year = 2011,
    url = {}