One of the primary reasons IT organizations invested in virtualization was to add a layer of software that would simplify the management of all the disparate operating systems that reside within their various systems. Now, IT organizations have multiple flavors of virtual machines that all have their own separate management framework, and they wind up duplicating many of the functions that already exist elsewhere in the IT environment.
An opportunity to layer an operating system on top of multiple virtual machines has arrived as part of an effort to unify the IT environment. Cloudius Systems has developed OSV, an open source operating system that installs on top of multiple hypervisors.
According to Cloudius Systems’ Dor Laor, OSV is designed to run in a single address space much more efficiently than the existing stack of Java virtual machines, operating systems and hypervisors.
Specifically designed for servers, Laor says OSV eliminates all the overhead that processors currently need to support, which ultimately will significantly improve the performance of the applications invoking those processors. And because OSV is stateless, Laor says all the overhead associated with managing traditional operating systems is eliminated.
Obviously, usurping existing operating system environments is no small task. But as IT organizations make the shift to the cloud, Laor says many of them are going to be willing to examine all their options. Rather than simply carry legacy architectures forward into the cloud, Laor says the cloud represents an opportunity to make a clean break with inefficiencies of the past where OSes have been layered on top of one another without any consideration to how many functions are being duplicated. This much duplication can definitely affect application performance.