VEe 2007
Conference paper

Libra: A library operating system for a JVM in a virtualized execution environment

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If the operating system could be specialized for every application, many applications would run faster. For example, Java virtual machines (JVMs) provide their own threading model and memory protection, so general-purpose operating system implementations of these abstractions are redundant. However, traditional means of transforming existing systems into specialized systems are difficult to adopt because they require replacing the entire operating system. This paper describes Libra, an execution environment specialized for IBM's J9 JVM. Libra does not replace the entire operating system. Instead, Libra and J9 form a single statically-linked image that runs in a hypervisor partition. Libra provides the services necessary to achieve good performance for the Java workloads of interest but relies on an instance of Linux in another hypervisor partition to provide a networking stack, a filesystem, and other services. The expense of remote calls is offset by the fact that Libra's services can be customized for a particular workload; for example, on the Nutch search engine, we show that two simple customizations improve application throughput by a factor of 2.7. Copyright © 2007 ACM.