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Emerging ARM-based microserver architectures such as the Kaleao KMAX platform offer power efficiency and much greater core density with increasing use of centralised shared IO resources across non cache-coherent processors. Their combined core energy efficiency, the increased parity in performance with power-efficient x86 platforms and the wider support for the ARM ecosystem makes them suitable candidates for replacing x86 equipment at edge sites. However the reduction in individual processor and memory capacity present new challenges in system software design.
Our talk discusses some hardware architecture trends behind emerging technology platforms, such as the KMAX system, and describes the unique challenges involved in building an efficient clustered hypervisor stack with centralised IO resources based on xen, as well as the rationale behind the design decisions and the tradeoffs.