Container-based operating system virtualization: A scalable, high-performance alternative to hypervisors

Stephen Soltesz, Herbert Pötzl, Marc E. Fiuczynski, Andy Bavier, Larry Peterson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

513 Scopus citations


Hypervisors, popularized by Xen and VMware, are quickly becoming commodity. They are appropriate for many usage scenarios, but there are scenarios that require system virtualization with high degrees of both isolation and efficiency. Examples include HPC clusters, the Grid, hosting centers, and PlanetLab. We present an alternative to hypervisors that is better suited to such scenarios. The approach is a synthesis of prior work on resource containers and security containers applied to general-purpose, time-shared operating systems. Examples of such container-based systems include Solaris 10, Virtuozzo for Linux, and Linux-VServer. As a representative instance of container-based systems, this paper describes the design and implementation of Linux-VServer. In addition, it contrasts the architecture of Linux-VServer with current generations of Xen, and shows how Linux-VServer provides comparable support for isolation and superior system efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOperating Systems Review - Proceedings of the 2007 EuroSys Conference
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2007
Event2007 Eurosys Conference - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: Mar 21 2007Mar 23 2007

Publication series

NameOperating Systems Review (ACM)
ISSN (Print)0163-5980


Other2007 Eurosys Conference


  • Alternative
  • Container
  • Hypervisor
  • Linux-VServer
  • Operating
  • System
  • Virtualization
  • Xen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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