In recent years Xen has seen the development of many minimalistic or specialized virtual machines (e.g., OSv, Mirage, ClickOS, Erlang on Xen, etc.). Thanks in part to a small CPU and memory footprints, these VMs allow for running thousands or more on a single, inexpensive commodity server. Doing so could save cloud and network operators vast amounts of money.
Attempts to do so are already underway and have discovered important bottlenecks in Xen. While some of these have already been addressed by the community (e.g., limited number of event channels or memory grants) others still remain. In this talk we describe our experience when trying to run up to 10,000 MiniOS-based VMs, including bottlenecks in the XenStore, toolchain and network pipe. We further report on prototypical solutions, and on our implementation of suspend/resume for MiniOS that allows us tens of milliseconds migrations.
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