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Novel memory and I/O virtualization techniques for next generation data-centers based on disaggregated hardware

Abstract : This dissertation is positioned in the context of the system disaggregation - a novel approach expected to gain popularity in the data center sector. In traditional clustered systems resources are provided by one or multiple machines. Differently to that, in disaggregated systems resources are provided by discrete nodes, each node providing only one type of resources (CPUs, memory and peripherals). Instead of a machine, the term of a slot is used to describe a workload deployment unit. The slot is dynamically assembled before a workload deployment by the unit called system orchestrator.In the introduction of this work, we discuss the subject of disaggregation and present its benefits, compared to clustered architectures. We also add a virtualization layer to the picture as it is a crucial part of data center systems. It provides an isolation between deployed workloads and a flexible resources partitioning. However, the virtualization layer needs to be adapted in order to take full advantage of disaggregation. Thus, the main contributions of this work are focused on the virtualization layer support for disaggregated memory and devices provisioning.The first main contribution presents the software stack modifications related to flexible resizing of a virtual machine (VM) memory. They allow to adjust the amount of guest (running in a VM) RAM at runtime on a memory section granularity. From the software perspective it is transparent whether they come from local or remote memory banks.As a second main contribution we discuss the notions of inter-VM memory sharing and VM migration in the disaggregation context. We first present how regions of disaggregated memory can be shared between VMs running on different nodes. This sharing is performed in a way that involved guests which are not aware of the fact that they are co-located on the same computing node or not. Additionally, we discuss different flavors of concurrent accesses serialization methods. We then explain how the VM migration term gained a twofold meaning. Because of resources disaggregation, a workload is associated to at least one computing node and one memory node. It is therefore possible that it is migrated to a different computing node and keeps using the same memory, or the opposite. We discuss both cases and describe how this can open new opportunities for server consolidation.The last main contribution of this dissertation is related to disaggregated peripherals virtualization. Starting from the assumption that the architecture disaggregation brings many positive effects in general, we explain why it breaks the passthrough peripheral attachment technique (also known as a direct attachment), which is very popular for its near-native performance. To address this limitation we present a design that adapts the passthrough attachment concept to the architecture disaggregation. By this novel design, disaggregated devices can be directly attached to VMs, as if they were plugged locally. Moreover, all modifications do not involve the guest OS itself, for which the setup of the underlying infrastructure is not visible.
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Maciej Bielski. Novel memory and I/O virtualization techniques for next generation data-centers based on disaggregated hardware. Hardware Architecture [cs.AR]. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLT022⟩. ⟨tel-02464021⟩

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