Diagnosing virtualization overhead for multi-threaded computation on multicore platforms

Xiaoning Ding, Jianchen Shan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hardware-assisted virtualization, as an effective approach to low virtualization overhead, has been dominantly used. However, existing hardware assistance mainly focuses on single-thread performance. Much less attention has been paid to facilitate the efficient interaction between threads, which is critical to the execution of multi-threaded computation on virtualized multicore platforms. This paper aims to answer two questions: 1) what is the performance impact of virtualization on multi-threaded computation, and 2) what are the factors impeding multi-threaded computation from gaining full speed on virtualized platforms. Targeting the first question, the paper measures the virtualization overhead for computation-intensive applications that are designed for multicore processors. We show that some multicore applications still suffer significant performance losses in virtual machines. Even with hardware assistance for reducing virtualization overhead fully enabled, the execution time may be increased by more than 150% when the system is not over-committed, and the system throughput can be reduced by 6x when the system is over-committed. To answer the second question, with experiments, the paper diagnoses the main causes for the performance losses. Focusing the interaction between threads and between VCPUs, the paper identifies and examines a few performance factors, including the intervention of the virtual machine monitor (VMM) to schedule/switch virtual CPUs (VCPUs) and to handle interrupts required by inter-core communication, excessive spinning in user space, and cache-unaware data sharing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - IEEE 7th International Conference on Cloud Computing Technology and Science, CloudCom 2015
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages226-233
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781467395601
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016
Event7th IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing Technology and Science, CloudCom 2015 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: Nov 30 2015Dec 3 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE 7th International Conference on Cloud Computing Technology and Science, CloudCom 2015

Other

Other7th IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing Technology and Science, CloudCom 2015
CountryCanada
CityVancouver
Period11/30/1512/3/15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics

Keywords

  • Hardware assistance
  • Multicore
  • Performance
  • Virtualization

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