Until there is code or something more than a paper, it’s academic.
The diagram looks pretty close to L4Linux. That was in the TUDOS demo. VM’s loaded about as fast as I could click them on a microkernel. A form of it was deployed by Sirrix (now R&S) in Trusted Desktop (originally Turaya Desktop). OK Labs did something similar with OK-Linux for OKL4 they put on mobile phones. So, the stuff predating unikernels proves at least OS-in-a-process is doable since it’s been in FOSS and commercial products a long time. They also did better at containing security problems since there was simply less attack surface and isolation was the default option.
Unikernels look like a mix of a lot of stuff from the IBM world, sometimes to the point it feels like they’re accidentally reinventing it: VM/CMS spawning a VM per user session and for network services, and OS/400’s collapse of address space. (though unikernels go farther with ending the boundaries and turning syscalls into function calls; and less in others, like no trusted compiler running, no single-level store, and often no paging, just a filesystem like an embedded system)
kev009 on Hacker News made similar observation. I think quite a bit of what cloud sector is doing is reinventing IBM. Worst case, they should give them credit and look to see what’s worth copying. If not, they’ve at least vastly improved on IBM’s offering by making something open, flexible, and commodity pricing. Mainframes and AS/400’s were always about profitable lock-in developed at a glacial pace compared to rest of the industry. OpenVMS improved a bit by using commodity-ish servers. Kept lock-in and slow development with results predictable.
All this copycat stuff at least democratizes the technology with less lock-in and more momentum than before.
Interesting! I guess now the trick is making it accessible.
Always with cutting-edge tech. Few go that far. (sighs)