Hypervisor-Free Vritualization

NoHype System Overview

Cloud computing is a disruptive trend that is changing the way we use computers and virtualization is the key underlying technology in cloud infrastructures. Unfortunately, the use of virtualization is the source of a significant security concern: multiple virtual machines (VMs) run on the same server and since the virtualization layer plays a considerable role in the operation of a virtual machine, a malicious VM has the opportunity to attack the virtualization layer. A successful attack would give the malicious VM control over the all-powerful virtualization layer and potentially compromise the confidentiality and integrity of the virtualization layer and the other VMs. The NoHype system architecture proposes removing the virtualization layer while retaining the key features needed to be able to provide for multi tenancy of VMs. The NoHype architecture is named to indicate the removal of the hypervisor (no hypervisor) but we also try to show that the NoHype architecture may indeed be implementable on today's commodity hardware (not a hype). By removing bulky virtualization layer we propose that the architecture improves security while retaining key functionality to be able to host multiple VMs on same physical hardware.

This is a joint work between Prof. Lee's group and Prof. Rexford's group (CS department).

  1. Eric Keller, Jakub Szefer, Jennifer Rexford, and Ruby B. Lee, "NoHype: Virtualized cloud infrastructure without the virtualization," in proceedings of the International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA 2010), pages 350-357, June 2010.
  2. Jakub Szefer, Eric Keller, Ruby B. Lee and Jennifer Rexford, "Eliminating the Hypervisor Attack Surface for a More Secure Cloud," to appear in Proceedings of the Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS 2011), October 2011.

Prototype Implementation

In Progress.