OS Streaming Deployment

A network deployment of generally available operating systems (OS) can take in the order of tens of minutes. This is prohibitive in an environment in which OSs must be dynamically and frequently provisioned in response to external requests. By exploiting the fact that in general only a small part of an OS image is actually required to be present to perform useful tasks, we demonstrate how an OS can perform work shortly after a deployment has begun. This requires the insertion of a streaming device between the operating system and the disk. We have implemented such a device for Windows* and Linux*. We show that such an OS streaming deployment reduces significantly (i.e., to a few seconds) the time between the start of the deployment and the moment at which the OS is available. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the performance overhead of using the OS during streaming is negligible as the penalty introduced by the streaming device is minor and the I/O performance is completely dominated by the multiple caches between the application and the disk.
*Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States, other countries, or both. Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both.
Keywords: Garces-Erice

By: D. Clerc, L. Garcés-Erice, S. Rooney

Published in: Proc. 29th IEEE Int'l Performance Computing and Communications Conf. "IPCCC2010," Albuquerque, NMPiscataway, NJ, IEEE, p.169-179 in 2010


This Research Report is available. This report has been submitted for publication outside of IBM and will probably be copyrighted if accepted for publication. It has been issued as a Research Report for early dissemination of its contents. In view of the transfer of copyright to the outside publisher, its distribution outside of IBM prior to publication should be limited to peer communications and specific requests. After outside publication, requests should be filled only by reprints or legally obtained copies of the article (e.g., payment of royalties). I have read and understand this notice and am a member of the scientific community outside or inside of IBM seeking a single copy only.


Questions about this service can be mailed to reports@us.ibm.com .