Title: Performance overhead analysis of virtualisation on ARM

Authors: Xiaoli Gong; Zhaoyang Shao; Qi Du; Aimin Yu; Jin Zhang

Addresses: Department of Computer Science and Information Security, Nankai University, Tianjin, China ' Department of Computer Science and Information Security, Nankai University, Tianjin, China ' Department of Computer Science and Information Security, Nankai University, Tianjin, China ' Institute of Information Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China ' Department of Computer Science and Information Security, Nankai University, Tianjin, China

Abstract: There is growing interest to replace traditional servers with low power systems. ARM has released new architecture with hardware virtualisation extension support. However, the performance of virtualisation on ARM-based low power platform is unclear. In this paper, a number of performance measurements on basic operations such as disk speed, CPU, memory and network throughput were done on a dual-core ARM Cortex-A7-based hardware platform with two popular open source hypervisor software, Xen and KVM. Basic benchmarks and three popular applications are measured to make a comparison between virtual machine and native machine. Our result shows that the average performance overhead of Xen and KVM virtual machine is between 3% and 4% when the host is lightly loaded, while the performance of three applications drops drastically with the workload stress increase in the system. The IO virtualisation should be optimised for the industrial usage of ARM-based virtualisation server.

Keywords: virtualisation; Xen; KVM; ARM; ARM Cortex-A7; performance analysis; performance measurement; performance overhead; benchmark; virtual machine; hypervisor; information communication technology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJICT.2018.089026

International Journal of Information and Communication Technology, 2018 Vol.12 No.1/2, pp.143 - 161

Available online: 08 Nov 2017 *

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