Brussels / 30 & 31 January 2016


Real-Time Cloud

Infrastructure as a Service deployment has replaced traditional dedicated hardware in many datacentres.

But today's cloud computing also has its limitations, which makes it not suitable for applications with strict timing requirements.

That is why real time systems, like telecommunication, trading, and control systems, are mostly still deployed in the traditional way and can not make use of all the advantages IaaS deployments have to offer.

The talk is about a real time enabled OpenStack prototype, which enables real time virtual machines connected to the outside world with real time networking.

KVM has improved a lot with regard to hosting guests with real time requirements. What is still missing is the integration with a complete management stack so that users do not have to tune every detail themselves. We will present an ongoing project in which we use a stack of Preempt-RT Linux, QEMU/KVM, libvirt and OpenStack for RT CPUs. For real time aware I/O, device assignment currently is the best way to go, but that does not scale well. So we decided to implement networking using vhost-user combined with a DPDK-based software switch.

We will explain how we tuned the overall system and where we had to change individual components of the stack. There will be a presentation of preliminary results, and if time allows a short demonstration. It still is a prototype with some of the changes not suitable for mainline yet. So we will also discuss current limitations and close the talk with plans and ideas for future work.


Henning Schild