News Jan 12, 2023

This year we will be present at FOSDEM with a part of our team. Although we don't have a booth to welcome you (as FOSDEM organization is trying to limit the number of booths this year), you will still have the opportunity to discuss with our teams since our R&D developer, Damien Thenot will give a talk on the subject of SPDK - Storage performance Development Kit.

This talk will present our usage of SPDK, Storage Performance Development Kit, with the Xen hypervisor and discuss memory sharing mechanisms in hypervisors from a security and performance perspective. SPDK is a userspace NVMe driver allowing access to these types of storage devices with minimal overhead from the operating system. It allows you to maximize the performance usage of new storage technologies, as well as having faster development times of applications serving IO because of the easier development cycle of running in userspace. In our case, we use it as a storage backend for virtual machines where an SPDK application establishes a connection with virtual machines through shared memory. This sharing of memory, in a virtualized environment, gives access to the outside world to a virtual machine. In the case of Xen, the sharing mechanism, called Grant Table, uses the hypervisor as a trusted intermediary to allow sharing memory with another virtual machine. The backend doing device multiplexing only get access to areas explicitely permitted by the frontend. This permits the guest to not completely trust the storage provider software with complete access to private memory, but the extra security of this model doesn't come for free. We would like to discuss improvements that could be added that would still keep the security aims of the Grant Table mechanism while providing a high performance interface.

On a more personal topic, Matias Vara Larsen, will give a talk about Running MPI application on a Toro unikernel.

More information about this talk is available on the FOSDEM event website.


Marc-André Pezin

Marketing manager at Vates since 2017, working on the communication and business development on Xen Orchestra and XCP-ng virtualization platform. I'm also a tech enthusiast and a fan of photography.