vCAT: Dynamic Cache Management Using CAT Virtualization
This paper presents vCAT, a novel design for dynamic shared cache management on multicore virtualization platforms based on Intel’s Cache Allocation Technology (CAT). Our design achieves strong isolation at both task and VM levels through cache partition virtualization, which works in a similar way as memory virtualization, but has challenges that are unique to cache and CAT. To demonstrate the feasibility and benefits of our design, we provide a prototype implementation of vCAT, and we present an extensive set of microbenchmarks and performance evaluation results on the PARSEC benchmarks and synthetic workloads, for both static and dynamic allocations. The evaluation results show that (i) vCAT can be implemented with minimal overhead, (ii) it can be used to mitigate shared cache interference, which could have caused task WCET increased by up to 7.2 x, (iii) static management in vCAT can increase system utilization by up to 7 x compared to a system without cache management; and (iv) dynamic management substantially outperforms static management in terms of schedulable utilization (increase by up to 3 x in our multi-mode example use case).