[erlang-questions] Erlang on RumpRun Unikernel

Neeraj Sharma <>
Tue May 24 17:15:14 CEST 2016


Hi,

I did an initial port of Erlang on the RumpRun unikernel (
https://github.com/rumpkernel/rumprun-packages/tree/master/erlang) in
September last year. While the experience was enthralling, there were after
thoughts which remained unanswered. I wonder what Erlang experts think
regarding running Erlang on unikernel. RumpRun unikernel is an great
project which (in my view) opened possibilities to design in some unique
ways while shifting aware from the traditional operation system based
design. There are some nuances like multi-threading instead of providing
multi-process (no fork), but I Erlang does play nice (at least for the most
part) with it. Needless to say the energy spent and my lack of understand
on Erlang internals ensured that the project is suited for pet projects
rather than production (or any serious use).

My choice Erlang is a bit biased primarily it being my first experience to
functional programming language and a long history of working in the
telecommunications industry (though not using Erlang in production as much
I'd wanted to). The language is awesome for many use cases though this
email is primarily looking at its play with unikernels. The language blew
me away with the ease and core language features for meeting complex
requirements like (though not limited to) scalablity, availability and
soft-real time behavior (not to mention the VMs capability to magically
load the system resources evenly) which takes a lot of effort in
implementing in traditional programming languages.

My initial motivation to attempt the port was to look at role of Erlang
(which pretty much does most of stuff a traditional OS+utils would provide
to regular applications) in microservices architecture. In my opinion the
choice of RumpRun unikernel makes a lot of sense in this respect rather
than rely on traditional operating system architecture. Having said that, I
would like to hear opinions from Erlang experts as to whether the marriage
of Erlang with Unikernel has a bright future :)


Thanks for your time,
Neeraj
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