Ralph Roskies

Open Library of Images for
Virtualized Execution
Mahadev Satyanarayanan, Gloria St Clair, Benjamin
Gilbert, Jan Harkes, Dan Ryan, Erika Linke, Keith Webster
(Carnegie Mellon)
Messenger: Ralph Roskies
What is OLIVE
• OLIVE freezes and precisely reproduces the
environment for executing the software long
after its creation.
– Uses virtual machine technology to encapsulate legacy
software, complete with all its legacy dependencies.
– You create your VM by filling an empty virtual
machine, by essentially going through the steps that
people who configured the system you were using
went through. (Explicitly have to face the problem
that Mark Fahey discussed).
– You can then stream the data over the Internet from a
web server.
• Can be completely closed source, not
requiring recompiling or relinking.
• Can include code for the peripherals (e.g.
floppy disk) although you no longer have
floppy disk readers.
• If your current equipment includes the same
instruction set (e.g. X86) then there is no need
for emulation. You just stream code over the
• Microsoft goes out of business and your
application uses Excel.
• Turbotax changes every year. But what if you
wanted to know what it would have returned
on your current income in 1997?
• They already have a library of 15 VMs dating
back to the late 1980s.
• Won’t work if your code utilizes timing data.
• If the instruction set on the target system is
not supported, you do need an emulation
Secret Sauce
• The VMs you create are likely to be huge.
Streaming them over the Internet can be very
slow. But the PIs come from the file systems
world, and in particular leverage the ideas of
the Andrew File System for caching and
prefetching VM images over the Internet.

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