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13th Real-Time Linux Workshop from October 20 to 22 at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Czech Technical University in Prague

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Improving Responsiveness for Virtualized Networking Under Intensive Computing Workloads

Tommaso Cucinotta, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Italy
Fabio Checconi, IBM Research, T.J. Watson, Italy
Dhaval Giani, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Italy

In this paper the problem of providing network response guarantees to multiple Virtual Machines (VMs) co-scheduled on the same set of CPUs is tackled, where the VMs may have to host both responsive real-time applications and batch compute-intensive workloads. When trying to use a real-time reservation-based CPU scheduler for providing stable performance guarantees to such a VM, the compute-intensive workload would be scheduled better with high time granularities, to increase performance and reduce system overheads, whilst the real-time workload would need lower time granularities in order to keep the response-time under acceptable levels.

The mechanism that is proposed in this paper mixes both concepts, allowing the scheduler to dynamically switch between fine-grain and coarse-grain scheduling intervals depending on whether the VM is performing network operations or not. A prototype implementation of the proposed mechanism has been realized for the KVM hypervisor when running on Linux, modifying a deadline-based real-time scheduling strategy for the Linux kernel developed previously. The gathered experimental results show that the proposed technique is effective in controlling the response-times of the real-time workload inside a VM while at the same time it allows for an efficient execution of the batch compute-intensive workload.