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Wednesday, September 15 • 14:35 - 15:00
Lessons Learned Building a Production Memory-Overcommit Solution - Florian Schmidt & Ivan Teterevkov, Nutanix

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Linux is a great hypervisor platform, but it does not yet provide a complete solution for overcommitting VM memory efficiently. We present lessons learned from implementing a self-adapting memory-overcommit solution based on QEMU/kvm and libvirt. We discuss the drawbacks of different memory backends, such as hugetlbfs and memfd, the challenges of coordinating memory ballooning and hypervisor swap via cgroups, and how out-of-the-box live-migration performance can be catastrophic without careful per-page reclamation hints. In addition, we describe how to collect VM memory stats to estimate memory needs, especially in the absence of metrics provided by balloon drivers. This includes leveraging idle page tracking to obtain insights into VM memory usage, using sampling to avoid excessive CPU overhead. Finally, we explain how to tie those input metrics and output knobs together to produce a complete solution for adaptively overcommitting VM memory efficiently in production systems.

avatar for Florian Schmidt

Florian Schmidt

Staff Engineer, Nutanix
Florian is a software engineer working on Nutanix's AHV hypervisor suite. Before that, he was one of the main developers of the Unikraft unikernel. During his Ph.D. work, he focused on network protocols and Xen virtualisation. Technical conferences he has spoken at include previous... Read More →

Ivan Teterevkov

Senior Member of Technical Staff, Nutanix
Currently working at Nutanix on memory overcommit for Acropolis Hypervisor, a KVM and QEMU based product. Previously worked on various IoT and SaaS projects and has more than ten years of software development experience in Linux.

Wednesday September 15, 2021 14:35 - 15:00 UTC
  KVM Track 2
  • Presentation Slides Attached Yes