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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Muli Ben-Yehuda's LiveJournal:

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    Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
    3:19 pm
    Goodbye, livejournal.
    Well, it was bound to happen. Goodbye, livejournal. You've served me well since 2004.

    My new blog is at mulix.wordpress.com and the rss feed is at mulix.wordpress.com/feed/. See y'all there!
    Tuesday, October 5th, 2010
    5:14 pm
    You know it's a good day when you get to use angry turtle in a presentation. Angry turtle is angry!

    angry turtle
    Monday, October 4th, 2010
    8:57 am
    I was hurrying down the Newark airport terminal, wondering whether I was going to make the connecting flight to Seattle, en-route to Vancouver for the 9th USENIX Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation. Suddenly, my cell phone rang. It was Michael Factor, a long-time co-worker and mentor. "Have you seen the email?" "No, I just landed in Newark and am on the way to catch a connection to Seattle. Which email?" "Here, let me read you the opening:

    Dear Authors,

    Your paper has been selected as one of two winners of the OSDI Jay Lepreau Best Paper award."

    Receiving this award is a unique experience and a great honor. It is doubly sweet because of all the research projects I've worked on, the Turtles nested virtualization project is perhaps the one I am most proud of. When Orit, Ben, and I started working on it in 2008, we set out to do the impossible. Many colleagues claimed that efficient nested x86 virtualization on the Intel platform could not be done. Eventually, working long and hard, and with help from friends, we showed that not only could it be done, it even performs well. I've learned a lot in the process, about x86 virtualization, about leading a team, and about the art and craft doing research, but the most important lesson was to never lose hope, to always believe that eventually, it will work. And guess what? It did!

    If you want to know how we did it, and what we learned in the process, check out The Turtles Project: Design and Implementation of Nested Virtualization.

    In classical machine virtualization, a hypervisor runs multiple operating systems simultaneously, each on its own virtual machine. In nested virtualization a hypervisor can run multiple other hypervisors with their associated virtual machines. As operating systems gain hypervisor functionality---Microsoft Windows 7 already runs Windows XP in a virtual machine---nested virtualization will become necessary in hypervisors that wish to host them. We present the design, implementation, analysis, and evaluation of high-performance nested virtualization on Intel x86-based systems. The Turtles project, which is part of the Linux/KVM hypervisor, runs multiple unmodified hypervisors (e.g., KVM and VMware) and operating systems (e.g., Linux and Windows). Despite the lack of architectural support for nested virtualization in the x86 architecture, it can achieve performance that is within 6-8\% of single-level (non-nested) virtualization for common workloads, through multi-dimensional paging for MMU virtualization and multi-level device assignment for I/O virtualization.

    The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, ``What is the tortoise standing on?'' ``You're very clever, young man, very clever'', said the old lady. ``But it's turtles all the way down!''

    Monday, September 6th, 2010
    1:17 pm
    1:15 pm
    recent activity in a capsule
    Tuesday, November 17th, 2009
    9:38 pm
    interesting call for papers

    I have been remiss in updating this thing recently. In penance, I offer you these interesting call for papers from conferences that you should, without a doubt, submit your best papers to:

    The 2nd Workshop on I/O Virtualization, which I will be co-chairing, will be co-located with ASPLOS 2010 and VEE 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in March 2010. Once again we will be looking for ground-breaking and thought-provoking papers in I/O virtualization, although if your paper is only ground-breaking or only thought provoking, that's fine too.

    The 24th International Conference on Supercomputing (ICS'10) will be held in Japan (Japan!) in June 2010. We are soliciting papers on all aspects of research, development, and application of high-performance experimental and commercial systems. This will be my first time on the ICS PC, and I am looking forward to the experience.

    Last but certainly not least, SYSTOR 2010---The 3rd Annual Haifa Experimental Systems Conference, will be held once again in Haifa in May, 2010, and you should all come visit.

    More later.

    Current Mood: tired

    Tuesday, April 7th, 2009
    4:01 pm
    SYSTOR 2009 Call for Participation
                       CALL FOR PARTICIPATION
    
        SYSTOR 2009---The Israeli Experimental Systems Conference
           http://www.haifa.il.ibm.com/conferences/systor2009/
                            4-6 May 2009
                            Haifa, Israel
    
    Registration deadline: May 2nd
    
    SYSTOR 2009, the Israeli Experimental Systems Conference, will be held
    at IBM Haifa Labs, in Haifa, Israel. The conference program will run
    over three days, combining the forefront of academic systems research
    with real-world systems developed in industry. The goal of the
    conference is to promote systems research and to foster stronger ties
    between the Israeli and worldwide systems research communities and
    industry. Conference proceedings will be published by ACM in the ACM
    Digital Library.
    
    There is a limited number of seats available on a
    first-come-first-served basis upon registration at
    http://www.haifa.ibm.com/conferences/systor2009/registration.shtml
    (registration is free of charge). Lunch and refreshments will be
    served on all three days courtesy of IBM Haifa Labs.
    
    The first day of the conference will feature sessions on distributed
    systems, concurrency, and power management. Marc Snir, University of
    Illinois at Urbana Champaign, will give a keynote talk, and in the
    afternoon a student poster session with sweet refreshments will be
    held.
    
    The second day will begin with the keynote "Towards Invisible Storage"
    by Alain Azagury, Director, XIV Business Executive, IBM, and an
    invited talk on "The Next Generation Data Center" by Michael Kagan,
    Mellanox CTO. After the morning talks, there will be paper sessions
    focusing on data de-duplication and storage issues. The day will end
    with an optional social event in Caesarea.
    
    The third day will conclude the conference with paper sessions on
    virtualization and system optimizations, and a panel of well-known
    systems researchers who will debate "What is Systems Research about
    and is it Relevant?" The full program for all three days is available
    on the conference website.
    
    We look forward to seeing you at SYSTOR 2009!
    
    SYSTOR Advisory Committee
        * Marc Auslander, IBM
        * Ken Birman, Cornell
        * Danny Dolev, HUJI
        * Julian Satran, IBM
        * Marc Snir, UIUC
        * Willy Zwaenepoel, EPFL
    
    Program Chairs
        * Michael Factor, IBM
        * Dror Feitelson, HUJI
    
    General Chair
        * Miriam Allalouf, IBM
    
    Publicity Chair
        * Muli Ben Yehuda, IBM
    
    Publication Chair
        * Gregory Chockler, IBM
    
    Sunday, April 5th, 2009
    12:11 am
    miscellany
    I want to update this thing more often, but there's so much going on, the days filled with action and counter-action, that before I know it it's past midnight, and I have to wake up at 5 AM for a workout, and updating the blog is left on the TODO list for yet another day. Like, today.

    So, content?

    I've been a manager for a month and change now, managing the virtualization and systems architecture group at the lab. It's an interesting challenge (which is why I agreed to do it), often frustrating, occasionally exhilarating. To my surprise, the part I like most is dealing with human beings in their myriad forms. To my non-surprise, the part I like least is the bureaucracy, but I figured I'd wait a couple more months before I start tilting at wind-mills. I still write code (well, debug code, mostly) and conduct research, but it's no longer the most important part of my day.

    On the research front, we had two papers accepted to ICAC 2009 (one full paper and one short paper/poster), both in the general area of treating virtual machines as black boxes and inferring useful things about them---performance bottlenecks and boot-time--via statistical analysis of their inputs and outputs. Another paper, on the DMA mapping problem in direct assignment, was not accepted to USENIX ATC to my disappointment, and we are now revising it while looking for a new home.

    I am continuing to work out twice a week with a private trainer who is seriously kicking my butt. It's rare when I don't finish a workout on the brink of exhaustion, drenched in sweat. I *love* it. Twice a week is no longer enough---I crave the endorphin rushes and sore muscles---so I've also re-started going for long walks, and hitting the punching bag in the back-yard like I really mean it. The kilograms are coming off, too, an added bonus.

    Last but not least, SYSTOR 2009 is coming up next month, with a great program combining academic research and real-world systems. See y'all there!
    Wednesday, January 28th, 2009
    5:50 am
    It's 5:40 AM. I am is sitting in an empty room full of half-assembled furniture, waiting for the personal trainer to arrive and whip my ass into shape.
    Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008
    11:21 pm
    There will be a half-day workshop at the Technion's EE department on Thursday afternoon on "Technology Transfer - from Academy to Industry" which looks mildly interesting. I am on nominally on vacation this week and flying to Italy that night, but perhaps I'll go anyway. Anyone else planning to go?
    Wednesday, December 10th, 2008
    11:17 am
    Scalable I/O paper online
    Our new paper is online: "Scalable I/O---A Well-Architected Way to Do Scalable, Secure and Virtualized I/O", by Julian Satran, Leah Shalev, Muli Ben-Yehuda, and Zorik Machulsky. This is an overview paper showcasing the main ideas underlying a system we've been working on on and off since 2004. It's not as detailed as I would've liked due to the space constraints, but hopefully it will be followed by more detailed papers. The slides I'll be presenting later today at WIOV '08 are also available and go into a bit more details in areas.

    Today in both virtualized and non-virtualized systems the entire I/O functionality is based on device drivers. They are central to any system structure; both anecdotal and informed evidence indicates device drivers as a major source of trouble in the classical OS and a source of scaling and performance issues in virtual I/O, due to "trusted intermediary" required for the shared I/O. We propose an architecture which virtualizes the entire I/O subsystem rather than each I/O device, and provides device-independent I/O at higher level of abstraction than the traditional I/O interfaces. In our suggested architecture the system robustness is increased by isolating drivers; efficient and scalable virtualization becomes possible by a complete separation of the I/O and compute function and introducing a protection model that does not require a trusted intermediary for I/O.
    Monday, November 24th, 2008
    8:34 pm
    new IOMMU paper available
    New online for your perusing pleasure: "Direct Device Assignment for Untrusted Fully-Virtualized Virtual Machines", by Ben-Ami Yassour, Muli Ben-Yehuda and Orit Wasserman, IBM Research Report H-0263.

    This is a short paper describing and evaluating our work earlier this year on direct device assignment in KVM, using Intel's VT-d IOMMU. Not much new here if you've read our other IOMMU papers, but it does make two contributions. First, it's the best (and only) available description (IMHO) of KVM's direct device assignment code, and second it's yet another data point on the relative performance of device emulation vs. virtual I/O drivers vs. direct device assignment. As always, comments appreciated. The abstract follows.

    The I/O interfaces between a host platform and a guest virtual machine take one of three forms: either the hypervisor provides the guest with emulation of hardware devices, or the hypervisor provides virtual I/O drivers, or the hypervisor assigns a selected subset of the host's real I/O devices directly to the guest. Each method has advantages and disadvantages, but letting VMs access devices directly has a number of particularly interesting benefits, such as not requiring any guest VM changes and in theory providing near-native performance.

    In an effort to quantify the benefits of direct device access, we have implemented direct device assignment for untrusted, fully-virtualized virtual machines in the Linux/KVM environment using Intel's VT-d IOMMU. Our implementation required no guest OS changes and---unlike alternative I/O virtualization approaches---provided near native I/O performance. In particular, a quantitative comparison of network performance on a 1GbE network shows that with large-enough messages direct device access throughput is statistically indistinguishable from native, albeit with CPU utilization that is slightly higher.

    Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008
    11:52 am
    notes for Sunday Oct 20 through Tuesday Oct 22nd
    This is not serious, I'm supposed to remember what I was doing three days ago? I can barely remember what I had for breakfast this morning.

    I started walking again in the mornings. Today I was up before the crack of dawn for a brisk walk on the sea shore, and when I got back home, I even had enough energy left for a few rounds with the boxing bag. Finished reading Haruki Murakami, and now re-reading Living the Martial Way. It's a funny little book, so earnest it's hard to take it seriously, but with nuggets of wisdom nonetheless.
    Sunday, October 19th, 2008
    9:27 am
    The WIOV 08 website is up, including the full program! See y'all there.
    9:24 am
    notes for Thursday Oct 16 through Saturday Oct 18
    Thursday: just another day at work . In the afternoon, went to meet an amazing carpenter (US: cabinet maker). Spent three hours going over the plans in minute detail, making lots of changes, and then he told us how much it was going to cost. Staggered to Noga's cauldron for a late dinner.

    Friday: BBQ with old friends at Ira's. Once upon a time it would've been all Linux hacking, all the time, but now business and what the kids are doing is that much more interesting. Progress, of a sort.

    Saturday: a day of rest and recuperation. In the evening off to Mika's 1-year old birthday party. I still remember the sense of accomplishment we felt at Yael's 1-year old birthday party, that we actually managed to raise her and she is fine. Resumed reading Haruki Murakmi's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.
    Thursday, October 16th, 2008
    11:36 am
    notes for Wednesday Oct 15
    A day of odds and ends. The WIOV schedule should be going up today or tomorrow. Continued looking into the feasibility of a new project which will require coordination with an inordinate amount of people. Worked on a bunch of new patent disclosures. Hacked a bit on a new idea for IOTLB design until the serial port server stopped giving me love, and then went into paper reading mode.
    Wednesday, October 15th, 2008
    11:11 am
    Reservoir research report available
    Last year I helped conceive and write a proposal for an ambitious EU project called Reservoir: Resources and Services Virtualization without Barriers. IBM Research Report H-262, 2008, "RESERVOIR---An ICT Infrastructure for Reliable and Effective Delivery of Services as Utilities" is now available. This research report summarizes the (172 pages...) proposal and describes the key ideas underlying Reservoir.
    11:04 am
    notes for Tuesday Oct 14
    Lunch with the Tel-Aviv, business oriented, brunch of the family in their nice new house. In the evening didn't feel like doing much of anything; ended up de-cluttering my publications page.
    Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
    9:45 am
    notes for Monday Oct 13
    More work on the nap and vnic papers in the morning, making progress toward their respective deadlines. In the evening BBQ---fillet mignon and a good wine---with my folks in our garden.
    Sunday, October 12th, 2008
    9:41 pm
    notes for Sunday Oct 12
    Woke up bleary eyed, but settled into a productive day at the office debugging by proxy and reviewing a couple of draft papers (vnic and nap). In the evening got some work done on the secret project, too.
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