Sep 18th-21st we were in Bilbao, Spain for the Open Source Summit Europe 2023! We had the opportunity to talk about open-source, meet friends, and make new ones!
In this session, we went through the options that users have to deploy applications in Cloud & Edge environments. We talked about containers, sandboxed containers, and unikernels, introduced our own container runtime tailored to unikernels, and presented the integration effort we have undertaken to allow unikernels to execute in k8s & Serverless Computing frameworks.
urunc is an open-source, lightweight container runtime that spawns unikernels as generic containers. To facilitate the packaging of unikernels as OCI artifacts, we built bima, a tool that automates the process of injecting unikernel binaries into container image layers and adds metadata that are later used by urunc.
This work is supported by EU H2020 research and innovation programmes, under Grant Agreements 101017168 (SERRANO) and 871900 (5G-COMPLETE).
We are excited to host a Unikraft Hackathon in Athens, GR! It is a great opportunity for students, professionals and systems software enthousiasts to meet, exchange ideas, and code together in this two-day event!
Nubificus LTD, along with the Unikraft community, the High Speed Communication Networks Lab (HSCN) and the Computing Systems Lab (CSLab) of the National Technical University of Athens (ICCS/NTUA) come together to organize the Unikraft Athens Hackathon to be held on Thursday and Friday, March 30-31, 2023.
At the end of the first day, starting at 16:15, we will host a short session with invited talks:
“The Value of Unikernels in the Emerging Disaggregated HPC and AI Clusters”, Dimitris Syrivelis
“Unikernels for Serverless”, Anastassios Nanos
“Running MPI applications on Toro unikernel”, Matias Vara Larsen
The hackathon will take place as an in-person event at the Multimedia Amphitheater at the Zografou campus of NTUA. The full address is: Multimedia Amphitheater, Central Library Building, Heroon Polytechniou 9, 15780 Zografou, Greece.
Support information and discussions will take place on Discord on the #hack-athens23 channel.
Unikraft is a fast, secure and open-source Unikernel Development Kit, optimizing application execution by tailoring the operating system, libraries and configuration to the particular needs of the application. It vastly reduces virtual machine and container image sizes to a few KBs, provides blazing performance, and drastically cuts down the software stack’s attack surface.
Nubificus LTD proudly presents the latest release of the vAccel framework.
vAccel v0.5.0 is available as a tar
aarch64 architectures, with the essential binaries for users to get started.
Additionally, the individual components are packaged as binary artifacts or
packages for users to install them directly. For a list of the binary
components please visit vAccel’s documentation
page. The core vAccel library is
open-source, available on github.
vAccel enables workloads to enjoy hardware acceleration while running on environments that do not have direct (physical) access to acceleration devices. With a slim design and precise abstractions, vAccel semantically exposes hardware acceleration features to users with little to no knoweldge of software acceleration framework internals.
vAccel integrates with container runtimes such as kata-containers. v0.5.0 brings updated support for kata-containers v3.0, so deploying an application that requires hardware acceleration in a sandboxed container in k8s is now possible without complicated hardware setups!
Serverless computing workflows are now able to enjoy compute-offload mechanisms to provide AI/ML services as functions, triggered thousands or millions of times by events, on-demand, auto-scaling to multiple physical and virtual nodes, without the need to directly attach a hardware device to the instance. This functionality is enabled through vAccel’s virtualization backends, enabling the execution of hardware-accelerated functions on Virtual Machines. Support for numerous hypervisors is available, including AWS Firecracker, QEMU/KVM, Cloud Hypervisor, etc. See the relevant documentation on how to run an example on a VM.
vAccel v0.5.0 offers enhanced API remoting functionality over generic sockets,
AF_INET, enabling local (intra-node) and remote
execution over the network. Optimized
AF_VSOCK support is also offered using
virtio-vsock backend on QEMU/KVM, AWS Firecracker, Cloud hypervisor,
Dragonball and any other hypervisor that supports
This iteration’s update also contains important bug fixes and performance optimizations.
The roadmap for v0.6.0 contains PyTorch support (currently under development).
Nubificus LTD has been identified by the European Commission’s Innovation Radar as a high potential innovator for their work on Serverless computing. Specifically, EC’s IR identified the Serverless Framework that Nubificus LTD develops as having a high potential for innovation. The lightweight serverless framework for the Edge is being developed as part of the 5G-COMPLETE Horizon 2020-funded project.
The framework to provide Fast, Secure & Efficient Serverless for the Edge was assessed by the IR (https://www.innoradar.eu) as technology that addresses the needs of existing markets and falls under IR’s exploring category. This category prizes organizations’ initiative to take steps to actively explore value creation opportunities, commercialization and the pursuit of concrete market-oriented ideas that advance technology development processes.
The 5G-COMPLETE project aims to revolutionize the 5G architecture, by efficiently combining compute and storage resource functionality over a unified ultra-high capacity converged digital/analog Fiber-Wireless (FiWi) Radio Access Network (RAN). By employing the recent advances in Ethernet fronthauling introduced by the eCPRI standard as a launching point, 5G-COMPLETE introduces and combines a series of key technologies under a unique architectural proposition. Nubificus particular focus is on the rapid and cost-efficient service deployment through lightweight virtualization mechanisms and unikernel technology.
The unique systems software components stemmed from the project are leveraged to explore disruptive technologies for Serverless computing and extracted the essential features to allow workloads to be deployed and executed securely, at the Edge, supporting hardware acceleration functionality.
The Innovation Radar is a European Commission initiative that identifies high potential innovations and innovators in EU-funded research and innovation projects. It bases its selection on information and data gathered by independent experts who review research and innovation projects funded by the European Commission.
The goal of the Innovation Radar platform is to show citizens the scientific and technological advances that take place thanks to the Commission’s funding. By providing greater access to such information, the platform hopes to encourage the development of a dynamic ecosystem of incubators, entrepreneurs, funding agencies and investors that can help get EU-funded innovations to the market faster.
Nubificus LTD participates in the ICT-40-2020 SERRANO Project (H2020 GA No 101017168): Transparent Application Deployment in a Secure, Accelerated and Cognitive Cloud Continuum, which kicked off in January 2021 and will last three years. SERRANO consortium consists of 11 partners from industry and academia. SERRANO investigates the transparent deployment of applications in a secure and accelerated infrastructure of edge, cloud and HPC resources, based on FPGAs, GPUs, Virtual Platforms and Smart NICs, while facilitating their automated and cognitive orchestration.
SERRANO investigates the transparent deployment of applications in a secure and accelerated infrastructure of edge, cloud and HPC resources, based on FPGAs, GPUs, Virtual Platforms and Smart NICs, while facilitating their automated and cognitive orchestration.
Nubificus LTD will lead the development of lightweight mechanisms to enable workload isolation and trusted execution in multi-tenancy nodes, hardware acceleration abstractions for serverless workloads and the development of resource orchestration and lightweight virtualization mechanisms.
With a slim design and precise abstractions, vAccel semantically exposes hardware acceleration features to users with little to no knoweldge of software acceleration framework internals.
Serverless computing workflows are now able to enjoy compute-offload mechanisms to provide AI/ML services as functions, triggered thousands or millions of times by events, on-demand, auto-scaling to multiple physical and virtual nodes.
The core of vAccel is the runtime system, essentially a library, that translates complicated compute frameworks to meaningful functions that users can directly call. These frameworks, commonly used on hardware accelerators, such as TensorRT, Tensorflow, Jetson-inference, or even lower-level abstractions such as CUDA, OpenCL, OpenACC, are now easily usable by the end-user via vAccel. Moreover, vAccel offers a virtualization backend, facilitating the execution of functions on Virtual Machines. Apart from support for AWS Firecracker, QEMU/KVM support is also availabe.
End-users can get a sneak peek at what vAccel on AWS Firecracker has to offer on the project’s website, on github, or on-prem, by using the distributed binaries, or just a container image. To get started, follow one of the tutorials currently available at https://blog.cloudkernels.net
At Nubificus, we are exploring systems software optimizations for deploying lightweight applications in the Cloud and at the Edge. Based on existing open-source tools and frameworks we mix and match application dependencies and tailor the Operating Systems layer to match the applications’ requirements. We are a fully distributed company working from the UK & Greece.
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