Sunday, March 21, 2010

The need for better slicing

We need a way to commit a fraction of a server to a task, specifically, it would be nice to devote slices of 1/1000000th of a server to a task, which would be 1.0 microServer. This would allow for the allocation of just enough CPU power to accomplish something usable, which might have taken a whole PC 10 or 20 years ago. Things like blog servers, etc.

One approach to doing this is through virtualization, like VMware, Xen, VirtualBox, etc. This provides a nice safe sandbox in which to run an OS, which ultimately runs the package one is interested in.

That's a lot of overhead to put towards running what might be a 10 microserver task. Wouldn't it be better if we could simply trust the operating system to do its job and to isolate tasks and resources in a secure manner?

If someone were to boil down a virtual machine to its minimum, I suspect you could do a lot with a machine that had 1 gigabyte of storage, 100 mhz of CPU, and 100 mb of RAM. I'd be willing to fork over some cash ($20) to help set up a contest to this end.

It should be possible to narrow down the run time environment to less than the size of damn small linux, and still be very useful.

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