[lxc-devel] USENIX - NSDI '19 -- Presentation of Slim: OS Kernel Support for a Low-Overhead Container Overlay Network

brian mullan bmullan.mail at gmail.com
Tue Sep 24 00:48:06 UTC 2019

To the LXD Developer team...
Thought this would be good  for all of you to see if you hadn't already.

*USENIX - NSDI '19   video:

*Title:  Slim:  OS Kernel Support for a Low-Overhead Container Overlay


   - Danyang Zhuo and Kaiyuan Zhang, University of Washington;
   - Yibo Zhu, Microsoft and Bytedance;
   - Hongqiang Harry Liu, Alibaba;
   - Matthew Rockett, Arvind Krishnamurthy, and Thomas Anderson, University
   of Washington

Containers have become the de facto method for hosting large-scale
distributed applications.

Container overlay networks are essential to providing portability for
containers, yet they impose significant overhead in terms of throughput,
latency, and CPU utilization.

The key problem is a reliance on packet transformation to implement network

As a result, each packet has to traverse the network stack twice in both
the sender and the receiver’s host OS kernel.

*We have designed and implemented Slim, a low-overhead container overlay
network that implements network virtualization by manipulating
connection-level metadata.*

Our solution maintains compatibility with today’s containerized

Evaluation results show that Slim improves the throughput of an in-memory
key-value store by 66% while reducing the latency by 42%.

Slim reduces the CPU utilization of the in-memory key-value store by 54%.

Slim also reduces the CPU utilization of a web server by 28%-40%, a
database server by 25%, and a stream processing framework by 11%.

The source code for SLIM is on GitHub here:

*Slim: OS Kernel Support for a Low-Overhead Container Overlay Network

Brian Mullan
Raleigh North Carolina USA
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