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Shared-Memory Optimizations for Virtual Machines

  • Author / Creator
    Macdonell, A. Cameron
  • Virtual machine environments are becoming more common due to the increased performance of commodity hardware and the emergence of cloud computing for large scale applications. As the use of virtual machines continues to grow, performance critical applications will require efficient mechanisms to achieve their tasks. We introduce Nahanni as a mechanism for shared memory communication in virtual machine environments. Nahanni allows virtualized applications, those running inside virtual machines, to communicate through shared memory for both data movement and synchronization when VMs are co-located on the same host machine. We describe the design, implementation, and evaluation of Nahanni as part of the QEMU/KVM virtualization platform. We have modified existing communication layers to measure the performance benefit of Nahanni. Through microbenchmarks and applications, we demonstrate that shared memory is a useful and efficient communication mechanism in virtualized environments. Further, we discuss how the design and implementation of Nahanni enables a new class of applications, ones that use structured data, to benefit from the use of shared memory.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2011-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3Q715
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Doctoral
  • Department
    • Department of Computing Science
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Lu, Paul (Computing Science)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Schaeffer, Jonathan (Computing Science)
    • Nascimento, Mario (Computing Science)
    • Carbonaro, Michael (Educational Psychology)
    • Barbosa, Denilson (Computing Science)
    • Salem, Ken (Computer Science, University of Waterloo)