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Martin Děcký
Day Sunday
Room K.3.201
Capacity 85
Start time 13:00
End time 14:00
Duration 01:00
Track Microkernel OS Devroom
Martin_Decky-Microkernel_Overhead.pdf (slides)

The microkernel overhead

Since the famous Tanenbaum-Torvalds debate the general public sticks to the golden rule of thumb: Microkernel systems, while nice and elegant, are just academic toys. Due to the infamous communication overhead and other self-imposed limitations, they are never going to be as useful for the general use (in terms of performance) as the good old monolithic systems.

Since the 1990s many researchers (especially the people around L4) have struggled to lower the overhead using the most extraordinary tricks. Others have tried to apply the microkernel design to mission critical, safety critical and other niche targets, where the benefits of the microkernel design clearly outweights the drawbacks. And other folks spent years creating hybrid systems to get the best (and hopefully not the worst) of the both worlds.

But are the drawbacks of the microkernels fundamental?

The way computers are designed, the way programmers think and the way the IT economy works have changed profoundly over the last 20 years. We no longer try hard to save every single CPU cycle and every single byte of RAM in every single routine. We acknowledge that spending 20 % more on a faster CPU and more RAM to run inteligebly designed software is a better idea than spending 20 % more each year on maintaing software with tons of ugly performance hacks and quirks. Our machines are massively concurrent and we tend to (or are forced to) think more in terms of effective parallel algorithms than just plain sequential throughput.

So perhaps it is time to reconsider the true impact of the microkernel overhead given the present conditions and requirements.

Key topics:

  • Reasons for the microkernel overhead
  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis of the overhead
  • Ways to minimize it
  • Ways to live with it
  • Ways to embrace it

Concurrent events:

When Event Track Where
11:00-17:00 LPI Item Writing Workshop Certification UA2.114
12:05-14:00 CAcert Assurance Party CAcert Ferrer
12:35-13:15 Session Border Control with SEMS Telephony and Communications H.2213
12:40-13:25 Pandora - a mobile Linux computer including gaming controls Open Source Game Development AW1.120
12:45-13:15 Graphity: an efficient neo4j based graph model for retrieving the top k news feeds for users in social networks Graph Processing AW1.125
13:00-13:25 MySQL synchronous replication in practice with Galera MySQL and Friends H.1309
13:00-13:30 Compiling Smalltalk to fast native Code Smalltalk AW1.126
13:00-13:30 CSI:Mozilla - Crash Scene Investigations Mozilla UD2.218A
13:00-13:45 Open Source Infrastructure - Running the Jenkins project with Puppet Configuration and Systems Management K.3.601
13:00-13:50 Bringing monitoring into the 21st century System Janson
13:00-13:50 A strategy for managing diverse equipment in the CERN controls group Network and IO K.1.105
13:00-13:55 Ultralightweight Kernel Service Virtualization with Rump Kernels Virtualization and Cloud Chavanne
13:00-14:00 OpenICC - Colour Standards for Linux K.3.401
13:00-14:00 CentOS Distribution Engineering and how you can help CrossDistribution H.1302
13:00-14:00 Distributions' infrastructure system administration (round table/Q&A) CrossDistribution H.1301
13:00-14:00 Using Qt for non-graphical applications Embedded Lameere
13:00-14:45 LPI Exam Session 4 Certification Guillissen
13:00-15:00 Smart card workshop Security H.2214
13:15-13:45 The Lua Scripting Language in the NetBSD Kernel BSD K.4.201
13:20-14:00 Enhancing FreePBX with Adhearsion Telephony and Communications H.2213
13:25-14:05 Modern PerlCommerce Perl AW1.121
13:30-13:55 Practical indexing guidelines MySQL and Friends H.1309
13:30-14:00 Spoon, a minimal object programming system Smalltalk AW1.126
13:30-14:10 How to trick a developer into being a designer? CrossDesktop H.1308
13:35-14:20 Balancing a game: the open source way Open Source Game Development AW1.120
13:45-14:15 Touch your NetBSD BSD K.4.201

Next (up to 3) talks in the same room (K.3.201):

When Event Track
14:10-14:55 The agony of choice - the diversity of microkernels in Genode Microkernel OS
15:05-15:50 Dive into HelenOS Device Drivers Microkernel OS
16:00-17:00 Panel discussion Microkernel OS

Events that start after this one (within 30 minutes):

When Event Track Where
14:00-14:15 EPFSUG - everybody needs a hacker! Lightning Talks Ferrer
14:00-14:25 Optimizing your innodb buffer pool usage MySQL and Friends H.1309
14:00-14:30 Gervill - Beyond MIDI Free Java K.4.401
14:00-14:30 The State of Firefox Mobile Mozilla UD2.218A
14:00-14:35 Cypher Query Language Graph Processing AW1.125
14:00-14:45 DevOps is not an absolute. It's a range. Configuration and Systems Management K.3.601
14:00-14:50 Why the community should welcome Average Jane and Joe Community K.1.105
14:00-14:50 Implementing Domain-Specific Languages with LLVM Development Janson
14:00-14:55 Tracing and virtualization workshop, millikernels and anykernels Virtualization and Cloud Chavanne
14:00-15:00 EFL the upcoming embedded UI toolkit Embedded Lameere
14:00-15:00 Automated Distribution Development and Maintenance CrossDistribution H.1302
14:00-15:00 Scribus K.3.401
14:00-15:00 Adventure of setting common account database for a distribution infrastructure CrossDistribution H.1301
14:00-16:30 Back to the future, (re) learn smalltalk Smalltalk AW1.126
14:05-14:45 A real Skype alternative using standards compliant FLOSS Telephony and Communications H.2213
14:10-14:55 The agony of choice - the diversity of microkernels in Genode Microkernel OS K.3.201
14:15-14:35 Rapid real-world testing using git-deploy Perl AW1.121
14:15-14:45 pkgsrc on MirBSD BSD K.4.201
14:15-14:55 Calligra - Free Office Everywhere CrossDesktop H.1308
14:20-14:35 and GNU FM - Supporting free culture artists with free software Lightning Talks Ferrer
14:30-14:55 MySQL creatively in a sandbox MySQL and Friends H.1309
14:30-15:00 The IcedRobot of Dawn, a one year long Free Sofware journey Free Java K.4.401
14:30-15:00 IT@Mozilla: Open sourcing the infrastructure Mozilla UD2.218A
14:30-15:15 Getting Started With Ogre3d For Game Development Open Source Game Development AW1.120