ZeroVM: Open–source, lightweight virtualization platform based on the Chromium Native Client project

ZeroVM logo

I have to confess that I don’t quite understand how this works. I’m quite familiar with virtualization products like VMWare or VirtualBox. They are virtual servers complete with virtual hardware to install a complete Operating System on.

According to the Rackspace Blog ZeroVM is…

…a lightweight open-source hypervisor created by LiteStack and built to run
cloud applications. ZeroVM breaks down the barriers between compute and
storage. Where traditional cloud architectures have needed to move the data
to the app for processing, ZeroVM flips that approach and moves the app to
the data. This dramatically increases speed of access and decreases latency.

ZeroVM is efficient because it is made to virtualize applications, not
machines. The runtime virtualizes only the server parts that do the actual
work at hand – making it much faster. Today, the fastest virtual servers
take at least two minutes to create, while ZeroVM takes less than 5
milliseconds – or 1/20,000th as long. ZeroVM is fast enough that you can put
every request into its own mini-VM to spread horizontally.

Making things smaller, lighter and faster also provides greater security.
ZeroVM is fast enough to isolate each individual user in a separate
container, which delivers greater granularity of security and control.