Online / 6 & 7 February 2021


Is the Time Ripe for Unikernels to Become Mainstream with Unikraft?

Building extremely Fast, Specialized Unikernels the Easy Way

In this talk we give an update on the Unikraft Linux Foundation open source project, a fully modular and librarized unikernel that aims to provide outstanding performance while making it easy to port off-the-shelf applications into unikernels. In particular, we will go into details how Unikraft (1) fully modularizes OS primitives so that it is easy to customize the unikernel and include only relevant components, (2) exposes a set of composable, performance-oriented APIs in order to make it easy for developers to obtain high performance and (3) aims for POSIX compatibility, already supporting over 130+ syscalls. In addition, there are ongoing efforts to integrate Unikraft into popular frameworks such as Kubernetes and Prometheus in order to finally bring the promise of unikernels to the mainstream. Our recent evaluation using off-the-shelf popular applications such as Nginx, SQLite, and Redis shows that running such applications on Unikraft results in a 30%-50% performance improvement compared to Linux guests. Unikraft images for these apps are around 1MB, require less than 10MB of RAM to run, and boot in around 1ms on top of the VMM time (total boot time 2ms-70ms). During the talk we will show a brief demo. Unikraft is Xen Project incubator project.


Photo of Alexander Jung Alexander Jung