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Arrakis: The Operating System is the Control Plane
Simon Peter, Jialin Li, Irene Zhang, Dan R. K. Ports, Doug Woos, Arvind Krishnamurthy, and Thomas Anderson, University of Washington; Timothy Roscoe, ETH Zurich
Best Paper at OSDI '14: Link to Paper
Recent device hardware trends enable a new approach to the design of network server operating systems. In a traditional operating system, the kernel mediates access to device hardware by server applications, to enforce process isolation as well as network and disk security.We have designed and implemented a new operating system, Arrakis, that splits the traditional role of the kernel in two. Applications have direct access to virtualized I/O devices, allowing most I/O operations to skip the kernel entirely, while the kernel is re-engineered to provide network and disk protection without kernel mediation of every operation.We describe the hardware and software changes needed to take advantage of this new abstraction, and we illustrate its power by showing improvements of 2-5 in latency and 9 in throughput for a popular persistent NoSQL store relative to a well-tuned Linux implementation.