Unikernel: microservices without an OS

As I continue to spend lots of time on the road and in traffic jams, podcasts are an efficient way to keep up-to-date in the fast moving IT world. Just finished listening SE-Radio Episode 271: Idit Levine on Unikernels. Very interesting.

Had never heard of Unikernel. Actually this is hardly a real OS: no multi-tasking, no security, no memory management. Memory directly mapped to the underlying hardware and some device drivers.

Unikernels become most relevant when used on top of a virtualization layer. A single application is combined with the Unikernel to become a super light-weight runtime unit. A fine alternative for microservices running in a container.

Unikernels are also a nice fit with server-less architectures: the Unikernel App is super-fast to start. So Unikernel Apps as a more efficient Function-As-A-Service approach.

When mapping this to my own world of integration, the Unikernel App could be a nice mechanism to handle all the async events going on in an integration environment. An incoming message or API call starts the Unikernel App which handles the message: transformation, routing, logging, forwarding…

Incredible at which pace the IT world keeps moving.

Author: Guy



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Working at i8c

i8c is a system integrator that strives for an informal atmosphere between its employees, who have an average age of approx 30 years old. We invest a lot of effort in the professional development of each individual, through a direct connection between the consultants and the management (no multiple layers of middle management). We are based in Kontich, near Antwerp, but our customers are mainly located in the triangle Ghent-Antwerp-Brussels and belong to the top 500 companies in Belgium (Securex, Electrabel, UCB, etc…).

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