Jitsu: Just-In-Time Summoning of Unikernels
USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, 12th
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Madhavapeddy, A., Leonard, T., Skjegstad, M., Gazagnaire, T., Sheets, D., Scott, D., Mortier, R., et al. (2015). Jitsu: Just-In-Time Summoning of Unikernels. USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, 12th, 559-573.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from USENIX via https://www.usenix.org/conference/nsdi15/technical-sessions/presentation/madhavapeddy
Network latency is a problem for all cloud services. It can be mitigated by moving computation out of remote datacenters by rapidly instantiating local services near the user. This requires an embedded cloud platform on which to deploy multiple applications securely and quickly. We present Jitsu, a new Xen toolstack that satisfies the demands of secure multi-tenant isolation on resource-constrained embedded ARM devices. It does this by using unikernels: lightweight, compact, single address space, memory-safe virtual machines (VMs) written in a high-level language. Using fast shared memory channels, Jitsu provides a directory service that launches unikernels in response to network traffic and masks boot latency. Our evaluation shows Jitsu to be a power-efficient and responsive platform for hosting cloud services in the edge network while preserving the strong isolation guarantees of a type-1 hypervisor.
The research leading to these results received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007–2013 under the Trilogy 2 project (grant agreement no. 317756), and the User Centric Networking project, (grant agreement no. 611001), and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), under contract FA8750-11-C-0249.