Virtual Machines

Updated: Oct 14, 2019 by Pradeep Gowda.

Until now, you needed to choose between containers with fast startup times and high density, or VMs with strong hardware-virtualization-based security and workload isolation. With Firecracker, you no longer have to choose. Firecracker enables you to deploy workloads in lightweight virtual machines, called microVMs, which provide enhanced security and workload isolation over traditional VMs, while enabling the speed and resource efficiency of containers.

Firecracker implements a virtual machine monitor (VMM) that uses the Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) to create and manage microVMs. Firecracker has a minimalist design. It excludes unnecessary devices and guest functionality to reduce the memory footprint and attack surface area of each microVM. This improves security, decreases the startup time, and increases hardware utilization. Firecracker currently supports Intel CPUs, with planned AMD and Arm support. Firecracker will also be integrated with popular container runtimes such as containerd.