Software — Stack — for Massively Geo-Distributed Infrastructures

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One Paper Has Been Accepted to Europar 2019 -

YOLO: Speeding up VM and Docker Boot Time by reducing I/O operations

Linh-Thuy NGuyen, Ramon Nou and Adrien Lebre

Although this comes as a surprise, the time to boot a Docker-based container can last as long as a virtual machine in high consolidated cloud scenarios. Because this time is critical as boot duration defines how an application can react w.r.t. demands’ fluctuations (horizontal elasticity), we present in this paper the YOLO mechanism (You Only Load Once). YOLO reduces the number of I/O operations generated during a boot process by relying on a boot image abstraction, a subset of the VM/container image that contains data blocks necessary to complete the boot operation.

Whenever a VM/container is booted, YOLO intercepts all read accesses and serves them directly from the boot image, which has been locally stored on fast access storage devices (e.g., memory, SSD, etc.).

In addition to YOLO, we show that another mechanism is required to ensure that files related to VM/container management systems remain in the cache of the Host OS.

Experiments show that the use of the two technics can speed up boot duration 2-13 times for VMs and 2 times for containers. The benefit on containers is limited due to internal choices of the docker design. We underline that our proposal can be easily applied to other kind of virtualization (\eg Xen) and containerization because it does not require intrusive modifications on the virtualization/container management system nor the base image structure.