SPDK and Nutanix AHV: minimising the virtualisation overhead
Virtualising storage platforms whilst maintaining high standards of performance has been a long-term challenge for all hypervisors. The added software overhead involved in access validations, general data movement and notification between domains become more and more noticeable as physical devices get faster. That affects all sorts of performance dimensions including bandwidth, IOPS and latency, most of which have been vastly hidden by the slow nature of storage devices until recently.
This talk will discuss the performance challenges involved in storage virtualisation. It will discuss how AHV, Nutanix’s own KVM-based hypervisor, has addressed most of these challenges. It will conclude showing how SPDK is being leveraged to minimise the overhead to record lows. For that, it will focus on some of the hardest of benchmarks and show how it is possible for virtual machines to access 3DXP NVMe devices in under 10us for 4k requests through virtio-scsi.
Senior Staff Software Engineer
Felipe is a Senior Staff Software Engineer working for Nutanix since 2015, more specifically leading the engineering efforts of the Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV). He brings nearly 20 years of expertise in storage performance and virtualisation. This includes four years at Citrix working on the XenServer storage datapath, a PhD at Imperial College London on performance of virtualised storage and managing storage arrays for vendors such as NetApp and EMC. In his (increasingly small) spare time, he enjoys playing bass guitar, chess and doing magic.