Playing With Firecracker VMM at COSCUP 2020

(Illustration: Set off firecrackers safely, refreshing and beautiful. Image source: Photo by Mehdi Babousan on Unsplash)

Today, I shared the topic about AWS Firecracker VMM: Roll up your sleeves and play with it on summer time at Cloud Native Hub agenda track of COSCUP 2020.


I have always been curious how AWS made AWS Lambda and AWS Fargate work. It has been on my list of items to be studied for a long time. It happened that I listened to jserv in May this year and jserv spent three or four hours sharing about Designing Linux Kernel: Development History Review (2020-05-23). I heard a lot of stories and history about Linux Kernel, for which Virtualization I haven’t spent time to learn more about it. At that time, COSCUP 2020 was calling for papers, so I signed up for a topic I was completely unfamiliar with. I had to digest Virtualization, Containerization, and learn about Firecracker within a certain period of time. (It turned out to be too greedy and stuffed over ninety something pages of slides… (fainted

Slides and Downloads

Slides of AWS Firecracker VMM: Roll up your sleeves and play with it on summer time: (in English)

At the end of the slide deck, I compiled a lot of reference materials (videos, articles, code, etc.), which can be used for extended reading or cross-reference.


Live Demo x2

In the process of preparing for this sharing, I organized two live demos into a package Firecracker Workshop Collections, and I will add more interesting workshops/demos in the future, such as playing with Weave Ignite.

The two workshops are briefly introduced as follows:

#01: Getting Started with Firecracker in 2 Minutes


This workshop mainly allows everyone to run the Firecracker easily and without burden, and shorten the distance between everyone and Firecracker.


#02: Creating 4,000 microVMs in 90 Seconds


The second workshop combines two open source projects:

  • Project 1: Use cdk-spot-one made by Pahud, you can easily turn on an Amazon EC2 Spot Instance, enjoy the Spot discount price without worried about forgetting to turn off the machine. I organized it into a package aws-spot-one, which is convenient to use at any time.
    • This time using this tool, I opened an i3.metal EC2 Bare metal machine to play. It is set to turn off the machine itself after only one hour of operation. The machine will turn off by itself. We don’t need to remember when to shut it down, and we don’t need to fotget :p
    • Size information related to i3.metal: 64 vCPU, 208 ECU, 512 GiB Memory, 8 x 1900 NVMe SSD, the unit price per hour in the us-east-2 region is US$4.992.
    • Open with Spot Instance type, it will become US$1.5 per hour, 70% off, in my case.
  • Project 2: It is an official Firecracker demo.
    • This demo is very interesting. It will use Firecracker to run 4,000 microVMs on an i3.metal EC2 Bare metal physical machine, and visualize the entire arousal process.
    • Finally, some statistics to measure how much time the microVM spends.
    • Today, the live demo took about 82 seconds to wake up and run the 4,000 microVMs at the same time.

Video: separate into 2 sections,

  • 00:00 Using CDK aws-spot-one, to open an EC2 bare metal spot instance.
  • 05:25 Waking up and run 4,000 microVMs.

Audience Composition

I saw a demo at the Digital Marketing Connect Reading Club a few weeks ago. I saw a speaker using to interact with the audience, so I tried it today. The free version can play three polls. can also put some web links in first, saving the listeners the trouble of scanning the QR Code or taking pictures. This time, I put my blog website and questionnaire links in it.

The first poll allows everyone to freely enter their own interests or professional fields. Some audience may still be connecting and warming up at this time, so skip this question for now.

The upcoming two polls have some reference value. The second poll sets “How long have you been in the industry?” to allow the audience to freely enter how long they have been in any industry they feel comfortable:

  • 51 audience participated in this poll.
  • Less than five years accounted for 78%.

The third poll lists many options so that everyone can choose multiple, as long as the option has been heard, played, used, played until it is broken and blown up, you can check it:

  • AWS and Amazon EC2 are the first and second place in this poll!
  • Container (74%) is slightly higher than VM (Virtual Machine, 72%)
  • In terms of the chronological order of release, the ratio of AWS Lambda (56%) and AWS Fargate (25%) is quite reasonable. After everyone has played Fargate Spot one after another, it should be equal in the future.
  • Firecracker (8%) respectfully accompany the last seat, as expected, and one of the original intentions for picking this non-well-known topic. The survey results prove that it is really not so popular XDD

Finally, Q&A, is organized into a word cloud, this building is crooked and funny XDD (special screenshots to keep as a souvenir (and yes, I forgot to set off the firecrackers in my opening XDD)

Today I am too greedy and put too much content in the 30-minute agenda. Some paragraphs were not carefully shared. In the future, I may post articles to share with you (Welcome to AWS User Group Taiwan make a wish or send me reminders), I hope to see more Firecracker fans also use Firecracker (or related microVM solution) in more projects at hand in the future.

Thank you for playing with me too :)

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