Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

December 10, 2008

Scalable I/O paper online

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 11:17 AM

Our new paper is online: “Scalable I/O—A
Well-Architected Way to Do Scalable, Secure and Virtualized I/O”
,
by Julian Satran, Leah Shalev, Muli Ben-Yehuda, and Zorik
Machulsky. This is an overview paper showcasing the main ideas
underlying a system we’ve been working on on and off since 2004. It’s
not as detailed as I would’ve liked due to the space constraints, but
hopefully it will be followed by more detailed papers. The
slides
I’ll be presenting later today at WIOV ’08 are also available
and go into a bit more details in areas.

Today in both virtualized and non-virtualized systems the entire I/O
functionality is based on device drivers. They are central to any
system structure; both anecdotal and informed evidence indicates
device drivers as a major source of trouble in the classical OS and a
source of scaling and performance issues in virtual I/O, due to
“trusted intermediary” required for the shared I/O. We propose an
architecture which virtualizes the entire I/O subsystem rather than
each I/O device, and provides device-independent I/O at higher level
of abstraction than the traditional I/O interfaces. In our suggested
architecture the system robustness is increased by isolating drivers;
efficient and scalable virtualization becomes possible by a complete
separation of the I/O and compute function and introducing a
protection model that does not require a trusted intermediary for
I/O.

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