Offloading Operating System Functions to the Cloud


This paper questions a fundamental assumption by a modern operating system (OS): it must run in the same computer it manages. We show that for many desirable OS functions, embedded systems often do not have the necessary resources. By carefully offloading some OS functions to another more resourceful computer, e.g., the cloud, one not only immediately overcomes the local resource limits but also opens the door for interesting optimizations because the remote computer becomes an advantageous point of aggregation and coordination. We discuss the challenges to offloading OS functions and their potential solutions. We also share some preliminary results of offloading system initialization logic and dynamic memory management from a microcontroller-based embedded system.

In Proceedings of the 25th International Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications