A Fresh Look at the Architecture and Performance of Contemporary Isolation Platforms

V.J. van Rijn, Jan S. Rellermeyer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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With the ever-increasing pervasiveness of the cloud computing paradigm, strong isolation guarantees and low performance overhead from isolation platforms are paramount. An ideal isolation platform offers both: an impermeable isolation boundary while imposing a negligible performance overhead. In this paper, we examine various isolation platforms (containers, secure containers, hypervisors, unikernels), and conduct a wide array of experiments to measure the performance overhead and degree of isolation offered by the platforms. We find that container platforms have the best, near-native, performance while the newly emerging secure containers suffer from various overheads. The highest degree of isolation is achieved by unikernels, closely followed by traditional containers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 22nd ACM/IFIP International Middleware Conference
PublisherACM DL
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-8534-3
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event22nd ACM/IFIP International Middleware Conference - Virtual Event, Quebeq City, Canada
Duration: 6 Dec 202110 Dec 2021


Conference22nd ACM/IFIP International Middleware Conference
Abbreviated titleMiddleware '22
CityQuebeq City
Internet address


  • Containers
  • Virtual Machines
  • Performance


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