It's Time to Debloat the Cloud with Unikraft

Thursday, June 03, 2021 - 12:00 pm12:45 pm

Felipe Huici, NEC Laboratories Europe GmbH


Cloud computing has revolutionized the way we think about IT infrastructure: Another web server? More database capacity? Resources for your artificial intelligence use case? Just spin-up another instance and you are good to go. That's the hype, but the reality is that the cloud, whether public or private, is severely bloated: instances can run up to GBs in size, "fast" boot times can take in the order of minutes, and memory consumption for running a single simple service (e.g., a static content web server) can be exorbitant. In this talk, we will present the Linux Foundation Unikraft project, a build tool and framework for seamlessly generating extremely efficient yet high performance cloud-ready images that are each tailored to the needs of specific applications. Our evaluation using off-the-shelf applications such as nginx, SQLite, and Redis shows that running them on Unikraft results in a 1.7x-2.7x performance improvement compared to Linux guests. Unikraft is a Linux Foundation open source project and can be found at

Felipe Huici, NEC Laboratories Europe GmbH

Felipe is a chief researcher at NEC Laboratories Europe in Heidelberg, Germany. His main research and interests lie in the areas of high-performance software systems, and in particular specialization, virtualization and security. He has been published in several top-tier conferences and journals such as SOSP, Eurosys, SIGCOMM, NSDI, CoNEXT, and SIGCOMM CCR and regularly act as TPC member of conferences and journals such as IMC, INFOCOM, CoNEXT and SIGCOMM CCR.

@conference {272745,
author = {Felipe Huici},
title = {It{\textquoteright}s Time to Debloat the Cloud with Unikraft},
year = {2021},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jun

Presentation Video