MirageOS, one of the most well-known unikernel projects, has created new tooling to make it easier to add new targets to MirageOS, widening the scope for deployments and community contributions. MirageOS 3, for example, enables KVM support via use of a lightweight hypervisor called ukvm, developed by researchers at IBM.
Mindy Preston and Amir Chaudhry discuss the benefits of the lightweight hypervisor approach compared to traditional hypervisor development and explain how this helped the team add a major, new supported platform to MirageOS 3, expanding the set of supported public clouds enormously. Mindy and Amir also explore feedback from users and critics on unikernels generally and MirageOS specifically and provide a short overview of what has been improved in MirageOS 3 and what still needs community help. They end with a demonstration of how to get up and running with a MirageOS unikernel on a public cloud in less than the total time of the talk itself.
Mindy Preston is a software engineer on the core team at Docker and a maintainer of MirageOS. Previously, Mindy was a research assistant, a computer security analyst, a systems administrator, a maker of sandwiches, a raker of leaves, and a sorter of discarded things.
Amir Chaudhry works at Docker, where he helps make unikernels accessible to developers everywhere, and is the community manager for MirageOS. Most of Amir’s time is spent on open source efforts, and he’s a big fan of automation to maximize developer impact. In previous lives, he led operations at a medical device startup, created a seed investing program, and was a board observer. Amir also has a diverse academic background: he holds an MSci in physics and a PhD in neuroscience. When not working on unikernels, Amir is probably looking at the sky and wondering when he can next go skydiving.
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