A Library-based Network Operating System for the Cloud
Our new Mirage OS revisits the library OS, and finds it a practical approach to improve this situation. Applications are written in a high-level functional programming language (OCaml) and compiled directly into microkernels that run on the Xen hypervisor. By treating the hypervisor as a stable hardware platform, we can focus on high-performance protocol implementations without worrying about having to support the thousands of device drivers found in a traditional OS.
Mirage includes clean-slate functional implementations of protocols ranging from TCP/IP, DNS, SSH, Openflow (switch/controller), HTTP, XMPP and Xen inter-VM transports. In this talk, I will describe the basics of Mirage, and demonstrate the performance and resource tradeoffs with our approach. Some of the new applications we are building using Mirage include the next-generation Xen Cloud Platform (a widely deployed open-source Xen distribution), Openflow-integrated applications, and a novel approach to managing distributed devices on the Internet.