Press Release


The IOLanes project ( over the last three years, since its start date on 1-Jan-2010 has examined fundamental issues related to I/O for data-centers. I/O is today a main problem for modern applications and is considered one of the issues that research needs to address in next-generation IT infrastructures. Data-center infrastructures are already starting to use large multicore systems for consolidating workloads to increase overall efficiency. However, providers tend to keep utilization low to avoid variations in performance and to cope with potentially high overheads during periods of intensive I/O. Many applications today already exhibit a sudden drop in performance when a backup application starts to run reading data from the same storage devices. Virtualization introduces high overheads in the I/O path when crossing the expensive guest-host VM interface.

IOLanes follows a novel approach that partitions the I/O path in the hypervisor to individual workloads. IOLanes has achieved dramatic improvements in application performance and server efficiency. For instance, IOLanes technology reduces “cycles per I/O” for TPC-E by two orders of magnitude compared to native execution. TPC-W response time improves by more than one order of magnitude with IOLanes technology when run in a consolidated server along with other applications. Virtualization overheads reduce allowing workloads to reach 97%-100% of bare metal performance.

Going forward, the technology and prototype we have built in IOLanes will be an invaluable tool for continuing to expand our understanding of I/O issues in modern servers and to keep up with the projected data growth.

The IOLANES project partners are:

  • Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH), Greece – Coordinator
  • Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC), Spain
  • University of Madrid (UPM), Spain
  • INTEL Performance Labs, Ireland
  • IBM Research Labs, Haifa, Israel
  • Neurocom S.A., Greece


IOLANES is funded by the E.C. under the Seventh Framework Programme and is part of the portfolio of the Embedded Systems Unit - G3 Directorate General Information Society.

Contact:Prof. Angelos Bilas,, FORTH, Greece

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