BabelFish: Fusing Address Translations for Containers

Dimitrios Skarlatos, Umur Darbaz, Bhargava Gopireddy, Nam Sung Kim, Josep Torrellas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cloud computing has begun a transformation from using virtual machines to using containers. Containers are attractive because of their build once, run anywhere computing model and their minimal performance overhead. Cloud providers leverage the lean nature of containers to run hundreds of them or more on a few cores. Furthermore, containers enable the serverless paradigm, which involves the creation of short-lived processes. In this work, we identify that containerized environments create page translations that are extensively replicated across containers in the TLB and in page tables. The result is high TLB pressure and redundant kernel work during page table management. To remedy this situation, this article proposes BabelFish, a novel architecture to share page translations across containers in the TLB and in page tables. BabelFish reduces the mean and tail latency of containerized workloads, cold-start effects of function execution, and container bring-up time. This work also advocates for the need to provide more hardware support for containerized and serverless environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9408361
Pages (from-to)57-62
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Micro
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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