Margo Seltzer, Christopher Small

Self-Monitoring and Self-Adapting Systems

Abstract

Extensible operating systems allow applications to modify kernel behavior by providing mechanisms for application code to run in the kernel address space. Extensibility enables a system to efficiently support a broader class of applications than is currently supported. This paper discusses the key challenge in making extensible systems practical: determining which parts of the system need to be extended and how. The determination of which parts of the system need to be extended requires self-monitoring, capturing a significant quantity of data about the performance of the system. Determining how to extend the system requires self-adaptation. In this paper, we describe how an extensible operating system (VINO) can use in situ simulation to explore the efficacy of policy changes. This automatic exploration is applicable to other extensible operating systems and can make these systems self-adapting to workload demands.
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