Anil Madhavapeddy

SE Radio 204: Anil Madhavapeddy on the Mirage Cloud Operating System and the OCaml Language

Robert talks to Dr. Anil Madhavapeddy of the Cambridge University (UK) Systems research group about the OCaml language and the Mirage cloud operating system, a microkernel written entirely in OCaml. The outline includes: history of the evolution from dedicated servers running a monolithic operating system to virutalized servers based on the Xen hypervisor to micro-kernels; the differences between monolithic kernels, exokernels and micro-kernels; recent innovations that have allowed micro-kernels to overcome performance problems; performance of micro-kernels compared to a Linux server running a daemon for simple services like DNS and HTTP; security of micro-kernels; the history of the OCaml language;  how the functional programming and the  OCaml type system supports the design goals of the Mirage micro-kernel; how the Mirage team decided on OCaml as the implementation language for their project; the reconception of the toolchain that has Mirage kernels and compiled and managed via github; the possibility of using other popular web programming languages within Mirage;  high-bandwidth networking abstractions in OCaml over Xen memory rings; and micro-kernels in the browser and peripheral devices.  They wrap up with a discussion of Anil’s recent book on OCaml.

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