Real-Time Containers: A Survey

Authors Václav Struhár , Moris Behnam, Mohammad Ashjaei , Alessandro V. Papadopoulos

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Václav Struhár
  • Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden
Moris Behnam
  • Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden
Mohammad Ashjaei
  • Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden
Alessandro V. Papadopoulos
  • Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden

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Václav Struhár, Moris Behnam, Mohammad Ashjaei, and Alessandro V. Papadopoulos. Real-Time Containers: A Survey. In 2nd Workshop on Fog Computing and the IoT (Fog-IoT 2020). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 80, pp. 7:1-7:9, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2020)


Container-based virtualization has gained a significant importance in a deployment of software applications in cloud-based environments. The technology fully relies on operating system features and does not require a virtualization layer (hypervisor) that introduces a performance degradation. Container-based virtualization allows to co-locate multiple isolated containers on a single computation node as well as to decompose an application into multiple containers distributed among several hosts (e.g., in fog computing layer). Such a technology seems very promising in other domains as well, e.g., in industrial automation, automotive, and aviation industry where mixed criticality containerized applications from various vendors can be co-located on shared resources. However, such industrial domains often require real-time behavior (i.e, a capability to meet predefined deadlines). These capabilities are not fully supported by the container-based virtualization yet. In this work, we provide a systematic literature survey study that summarizes the effort of the research community on bringing real-time properties in container-based virtualization. We categorize existing work into main research areas and identify possible immature points of the technology.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Computer systems organization → Real-time systems
  • Software and its engineering → Virtual machines
  • Real-Time
  • Containers
  • Docker
  • LXC
  • Xenomai
  • RTAI


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