OSv - A Modern Semi-POSIX LibraryOS 
Glauber Costa, Lead Engineer 
glommer@cloudius-systems.com
Typical Cloud Stack 
Application 
Runtime 
Operating System 
Hypervisor 
Hardware 
Protection 
and 
abstraction
Containers 
Application 
Runtime 
Application 
Runtime 
Operating System 
Hardware 
● high simplicity 
● high resource eff...
“Library OS” 
Application 
Runtime + OS 
Application 
Runtime + OS 
Hypervisor 
Hardware 
● high simplicity 
● high resour...
Architecture 
● Only one application / many threads 
● Single address space 
● Network channels 
● Written in C++11 
● Use...
Not the only one out there 
● Other examples: Erlang-on-Xen, Mirage, ClickOS. 
● But runs on wide range of Hypervisors 
○ ...
quasi-POSIX 
● Allow unmodified applications to work, 
● and modified applications to shine.
Performance 
● System calls are free 
○ context switches are really cheap ( x 4 Fedora) 
● Network performance significant...
What do people think? 
Roman Shaposhnik, Bigtop/Hadoop 
"Mark my words, GridGain [...] and OSv [...] are going to 
be exci...
The Xen Situation 
● We like HVM because it brings greater flexibility 
○ Xen's HVM boot is really slow 
○ Other than that...
The Xen Situation - cont 
Stack 
Current Frame 
128-byte Red Zone 
region 
The Xen Hypervisor does NOT 
respect that!
Will my application be fast? 
● short answer: 
○ yes 
● short answer 2: 
○ no 
● Similar to Ahmdal's law, in the context o...
Fresh from the Oven 
● Cassandra NoSQL 
● OSv vs CentOS 7 
● up to 25 % faster reads 
○ 1 VCPU only
redis 
● up to 80 % faster than 
Ubuntu 14.04 
○ 10 Gb networking 
○ No specialized interfaces 
○ we do have some problems...
memcached 
● unmodified, 
○ brings a juicy improvement out of the box. 
● modified: 
○ that showcases the real performance...
To know more 
http://osv.io 
https://github.com/cloudius-systems/osv 
@CloudiusSystems 
osv-dev@googlegroups.com
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XPDS14 - OSv - A Modern Semi-POSIX LibraryOS - Glauber Costa, Cloudius Systems

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During last year, we have seen the rise of LibraryOSes in the hypervisor world. Fast, scalable and light, they bring to hypervisors the resource efficiency of Containers while maintaining many of its well known isolation and manageability advantages.

While most LibraryOSes are niche in what they do, OSv is designed to run almost any POSIX compliant application and just have a slight focus in the Java application. Which applications can we run? And why? What's the story with Java and what can users gain from it? And more importantly: How can Xen users and the Xen community at large benefit from OSv? Those are some of the questions that I intend to cover in this presentation.

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XPDS14 - OSv - A Modern Semi-POSIX LibraryOS - Glauber Costa, Cloudius Systems

  1. 1. OSv - A Modern Semi-POSIX LibraryOS Glauber Costa, Lead Engineer glommer@cloudius-systems.com
  2. 2. Typical Cloud Stack Application Runtime Operating System Hypervisor Hardware Protection and abstraction
  3. 3. Containers Application Runtime Application Runtime Operating System Hardware ● high simplicity ● high resource efficiency ● high performance
  4. 4. “Library OS” Application Runtime + OS Application Runtime + OS Hypervisor Hardware ● high simplicity ● high resource efficiency ● high performance ● high isolation
  5. 5. Architecture ● Only one application / many threads ● Single address space ● Network channels ● Written in C++11 ● User API - REST ● BSD licenced ● ZFS filesystem
  6. 6. Not the only one out there ● Other examples: Erlang-on-Xen, Mirage, ClickOS. ● But runs on wide range of Hypervisors ○ Xen, KVM/Qemu, VMWare, VirtualBox. ● Supports a quasi-POSIX API. ○ no fork(), no exec(), ○ largely Linux compatible. ● Less than 1s boot time. ○ as fast as needed, not as fast as possible.
  7. 7. quasi-POSIX ● Allow unmodified applications to work, ● and modified applications to shine.
  8. 8. Performance ● System calls are free ○ context switches are really cheap ( x 4 Fedora) ● Network performance significantly faster ○ around 20 % with netperf over Fedora Linux ○ more than 50 % for some UDP workloads ● I will show you concrete results at the end
  9. 9. What do people think? Roman Shaposhnik, Bigtop/Hadoop "Mark my words, GridGain [...] and OSv [...] are going to be excitingly disruptive in the next few years. […] And, by the way, if, after reading this blog, you are not dropping everything and porting your cloud application to OSv, I don’t know what’s wrong with you." http://blog.gopivotal.com/pivotal/features/pivotal-debuts-at-apachecon-north-america-2014-thanks-for-having-us
  10. 10. The Xen Situation ● We like HVM because it brings greater flexibility ○ Xen's HVM boot is really slow ○ Other than that, all other goodies are there ■ interrupt injection, pv devices, etc. ● PVH is viable, but no one looking at the moment. ○ We take patches! ● PV out of question ○ too complex, ○ technically not possible.
  11. 11. The Xen Situation - cont Stack Current Frame 128-byte Red Zone region The Xen Hypervisor does NOT respect that!
  12. 12. Will my application be fast? ● short answer: ○ yes ● short answer 2: ○ no ● Similar to Ahmdal's law, in the context of parallelism ○ no gains for 95 % CPU hungry userspace applications ● POSIX APIs poses a limitation.
  13. 13. Fresh from the Oven ● Cassandra NoSQL ● OSv vs CentOS 7 ● up to 25 % faster reads ○ 1 VCPU only
  14. 14. redis ● up to 80 % faster than Ubuntu 14.04 ○ 10 Gb networking ○ No specialized interfaces ○ we do have some problems, though ○ check our blog about it, details at http://osv.io/blog/
  15. 15. memcached ● unmodified, ○ brings a juicy improvement out of the box. ● modified: ○ that showcases the real performance opportunity behind OSv. That's already ~20 % more at http://osv.io/benchmarks/
  16. 16. To know more http://osv.io https://github.com/cloudius-systems/osv @CloudiusSystems osv-dev@googlegroups.com
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