Painful cold boots, slow auto-scale times, minutes-long waits for compute nodes to be up: these are standard headaches that cloud engineers have to deal with, and work-around, on a daily basis. Much of this stems from the fact that cloud infrastructure relies on technology that was never intended to be reactive in millisecond scales, or at least within the round-trip time of a user request.
At Unikraft we’re introducing KraftCloud (www.kraft.cloud), a next generation cloud platform powered by technology intended to work in millisecond timescales. KraftCloud is the culmination of years of award-winning reseach (see here or here) into lightweight virtualization, showing that it is entirely possible to have extremely efficient and nimble deployments that still retain the strong isolation and security of virtual machines.
We’ll be giving more details over a series of upcoming tech blog posts, but first I wanted to list the KraftCloud features we’re excited about and that make us informally call it the millisecond platform:
🪓 Death to cold boots: Cold boots are a pain and lead to a number of complex workarounds. On KraftCloud, cold boots are a thing of the past: services can boot in as little as 5 milliseconds, and 20 milliseconds on average. And technically speaking these numbers are our platform’s cold boots/worst case performance.
⏬Scale to 0: We find it illogical that users pay for idleness. If KraftCloud isn’t doing useful work for you, then we don’t charge you for it. We can detect idleness in short time scales and automatically scale down your service to 0.
🐇Immediate autoscale : Imagine a world where auto-scale happens in windows of 10s of milliseconds, perfectly tracking increases and peaks in your traffic. No need to rack one’s brain with complex workarounds such as algorithms trying to predict peaks, or having to have pre-heated instances. You can even run your CPUs hotter, triggering autoscale at higher CPU loads.
💰Low price point: each instance is highly optimized and small which allow us to stuff lots more into a single server than with conventional technology; we pass those savings onto our users (and we plan to always have a free tier so you can develop your projects without any price or time pressure).
🌐Deploy to 70+ edge locations: Get as close to your users as you need; KraftCloud can provide many low-latency locations to your application/services.
🔐 Secure and minimal TCB: If your application doesn’t use a line of code, either in a library, service or the kernel itself, then it doesn’t make it into the deployed image. This results in a minimal Trusted Computing Base and much fewer vectors for attack. In addition, all KraftCloud instances benefit from strong hardware isolation.
🌳Reduced carbon footprint: Efficient images translates to us being able to stuff many more on them on a single server than with standard technologies.
📀Tiny images: Measured in MBs, not GBs or hundreds of MBs. Cheaper to store, easier to share. ‘nuff said.
In addition to these features, we want to make the experience of using KraftCloud as frictionless as possible. There’ll be multiple ways to deploy workloads on the platform, including Kubernetes, Docker and TerraForm integrations, a REST API for programmatic interaction with the platform and suppot for
kraftkit, Unikraft’s native tool. In addition, the platform will provide a registry of pre-built, ready to run images. There’ll also be the possibility to build your own images through the OSS project and upload them to the registry, or to provide code snippets and run them, serverless-style.
Language and Application Support
KraftCloud supports a wide range of programming languages, frameworks and applications.
We’re constantly improving this support; please let us know if you don’t see your favorite app, framework or language on there and we’ll take a look at adding it.
Want Early Beta Access?
We are currently looking for tech enthusiasts itching to get early KraftCloud tinkering rights. If you feel you fall in this category, make sure to fill out the brief sign up from on kraft.cloud and we’ll be in touch shortly!
If you want to find out more about the tech behind KraftCloud please read this previous tech blog, and be sure to check out Unikraft’s Linux Foundation OSS website and corresponding Discord . We would be extremely grateful for any feedback provided!