Check out the new USENIX Web site.
USENIX, The Advanced Computing Systems Association

LISA '07 Abstract

Pp. 7994 of the Proceedings

Stork: Package Management for Distributed VM Environments

Justin Cappos, Scott Baker, Jeremy Plichta, Duy Nyugen, Jason Hardies, Matt Borgard, Jeffry Johnston, and John H. Hartman, University of Arizona


In virtual machine environments each application is often run in its own virtual machine (VM), isolating it from other applications running on the same physical machine. Contention for memory, disk space, and network bandwidth among virtual machines, coupled with an inability to share due to the isolation virtual machines provide, leads to heavy resource utilization. Additionally, VMs increase management overhead as each is essentially a separate system.

Stork is a package management tool for virtual machine environments that is designed to alleviate these problems. Stork securely and efficiently downloads packages to physical machines and shares packages between VMs. Disk space and memory requirements are reduced because shared files, such as libraries and binaries, require only one persistent copy per physical machine. Experiments show that Stork reduces the disk space required to install additional copies of a package by over an order of magnitude, and memory by about 50%. Stork downloads each package once per physical machine no matter how many VMs install it. The transfer protocols used during download improve elapsed time by 7X and reduce repository traffic by an order of magnitude. Stork users can manage groups of VMs with the ease of managing a single machine - even groups that consist of machines distributed around the world. Stork is a real service that has run on PlanetLab for over four years and has managed thousands of VMs.

  • View the full text of this paper in HTML and PDF. Listen to the presentation in MP3 format.
    Click here if you have forgotten your password Until November 2008, you will need your USENIX membership identification in order to access the full papers. The Proceedings are published as a collective work, 2007 by the USENIX Association. All Rights Reserved. Rights to individual papers remain with the author or the author's employer. Permission is granted for the noncommercial reproduction of the complete work for educational or research purposes. USENIX acknowledges all trademarks within this paper.
To become a USENIX member, please see our Membership Information.

Last changed: 6 Feb. 2008 mn