Embedded Systems

Hypervisor technology, paves the way for low-power data centers

March 20, 2017


Grenoble --- New hypervisor technology developed as part of EUROSERVER is set to bring significant power savings for data centres. The MicroVisor is a lightweight, remotely controllable and fully configurable virtualization platform that is optimized to operate on all mainstream processors, thus offering a flexible and economical option for data centre architects. By increasing server utilization to unprecedented levels, the MicroVisor helps remove the virtualisation tax typical on cloud service hypervisors, meaning fewer or smaller low power servers are needed and thereby enabling energy savings.

EUROSERVER is a project tasked by the European Commission to develop an energy-efficient server design that can meet the expected demands of exascale computing beyond 2020. The project has developed a range of tools designed to support ARM-based data centres, including the MicroVisor. The MicroVisor has been developed at London-based OnApp, a company specializing in cloud management platforms that has been an integral member of the EUROSERVER consortium.

The MicroVisor works by simplifying how input/output interfaces are presented to virtualization workloads. This multi-tenant system takes a physicalization approach, mapping a virtual storage device onto an underlying Ethernet interface resulting in low latency and high performance, which transpose into meaningful reductions in energy consumption.

It is designed to work optimally with UNIMEM, a hardware-assisted memory sharing technology also developed by the EUROSERVER consortium and that allows multiple boards to share physical memory between themselves. Working in unison for optimal power-saving, they allow for better scaling of computer and memory resources, thus paving the way for processor architecture that can cope with the exascale computing workloads that will define the data centre of the future.

The MicroVisor is being released commercially as an integrated system on top of KMAX, an ultra-dense low power ARM-based true-converged server appliance created by KALEAO Ltd. (UK). KALEAO is one of two startups that are bringing to the market technologies investigated in EUROSERVER. Zeropoint Technologies AB (Gothenburg) offers memory compression technologies that have the potential to significantly compress the content of the cache and memory system, with the effect of creating three times more memory.

Further information: http://www.euroserver-project.eu
Project summary film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EnEKoZ2Tp0
About OnApp: http://www.onapp.com
About KALEAO: http://www.kaleao.com
About ZeroPoint: http://www.zptcorp.com


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