HermitCore - A Unikernel for Extreme-Scale Computing

 

A lightweight unikernel for a scalable and predictable runtime behavior

HermitCore Design Copyright: ACS

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Stefan Lankes

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Stefan Lankes

Academic Director / Division Head ICT4Energy / Team Simulation Infrastructure and HPC

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+49 241 80 49740

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The project HermitCore is a novel unikernel targeting a scalable and predictable runtime behavior for HPC and cloud environments. HermitCore could be used a classical unikernel within a virtual machine. In addition, it extends the multi-kernel approach with unikernel features to provide better programmability and scalability for hierarchical systems. By starting HermitCore applications as multi-kernel, cores will be isolated from the Linux system and the applications run bare-metal on these cores. This approach achieves a lower OS jitter and a better scalability. HermitCore applications and the Linux system can communicate via an IP interface (e.g., inter-kernel communication) or via the message passing interface iRCCE, which was initially designed for the Single-Chip Cloud Computer (SCC).

HermitCore provides a comprehensive toolchain, which is based on the GCC and supports C/C++, Fortran, Go, Pthreads, and OpenMP. For an improvement of the performance, Intel’s OpenMP runtime is used instead of GCC’ per default. Therefore, Intel’s C-Compiler could be used as well to build HermitCore applications. Both runtimes are part of HermitCore’s source code.

HermitCore is the result of a research project at RWTH Aachen University and is currently an experimental approach, i.e., not production ready. Please use it carefully.

A first paper, which sketchs the design of HermitCore, was presented at the International Workshop on Runtime and Operating Systems for Supercomputers (ROSS 2016).

 

Announcements

 
23/03/2018

Dr. Lankes visited the Systems Software Research Group at Virginia Tech in March, to strenghten the collaboration in the development of the Unikernel HermitCore.

 
01/06/2016

Dr. Lankes presented the talk "HermitCore – A Unikernel for Extreme Scale Computing" at the "International Workshop on Runtime and Operating Systems for Supercomputers (ROSS 2016)", Kyoto, Japan. He presented first results of the project "HermitCore".