Multi-Hypervisor Virtual Machines: Enabling an Ecosystem of Hypervisor-level Services

Authors: 

Kartik Gopalan, Rohit Kugve, Hardik Bagdi, and Yaohui Hu, Binghamton University; Daniel Williams and Nilton Bila, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center

Abstract: 

Public cloud software marketplaces already offer users a wealth of choice in operating systems, database management systems, financial software, and virtual networking, all deployable and configurable at the click of a button. Unfortunately, this level of customization has not extended to emerging hypervisor-level services, partly because traditional virtual machines (VMs) are fully controlled by only one hypervisor at a time. Currently, a VM in a cloud platform cannot concurrently use hypervisor-level services from multiple third-parties in a compartmentalized manner. We propose the notion of a multi-hypervisor VM, which is an unmodified guest that can simultaneously use services from multiple coresident, but isolated, hypervisors. We present a new virtualization architecture, called Span virtualization, that leverages nesting to allow multiple hypervisors to concurrently control a guest’s memory, virtual CPU, and I/O resources. Our prototype of Span virtualization on the KVM/QEMU platform enables a guest to use services such as introspection, network monitoring, guest mirroring, and hypervisor refresh, with performance comparable to traditional nested VMs.

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BibTeX
@inproceedings {203173,
author = {Kartik Gopalan and Rohit Kugve and Hardik Bagdi and Yaohui Hu and Daniel Williams and Nilton Bila},
title = {Multi-Hypervisor Virtual Machines: Enabling an Ecosystem of Hypervisor-level Services},
booktitle = {2017 {USENIX} Annual Technical Conference ({USENIX} {ATC} 17)},
year = {2017},
isbn = {978-1-931971-38-6},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
pages = {235--249},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/atc17/technical-sessions/presentation/gopalan},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
month = jul,
}

Presentation Audio