Introducing GraalOS

September 20, 2023 | 2 minute read
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At Oracle Cloud World 2023, Oracle announced GraalOS, an innovative new application deployment technology that will be first made available through Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Functions.

What is GraalOS?

GraalOS is a high performance serverless Java-based application deployment technology. It uses Oracle GraalVM Native Image to run your application as a native machine executable—taking full advantage of the latest x64 and AArch64 processor features available on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). An application powered by GraalOS, referred to as a GraalOS application here, should be less expensive to operate to help reduce your cloud costs.

Fast Start

A GraalOS application starts fast with virtually no “cold start” cost. Unlike container-based platforms that suffer from significant cold start costs, a GraalOS application is a small native Linux executable that starts in 10s of milliseconds.

Reduced Memory

A GraalOS application requires significantly less memory thanks to GraalVM Native Image ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation. In turn, lower memory usage has a direct impact on your operating costs: pricing structures for most cloud services, including OCI Functions, have a significant memory usage element.

Run On Demand

A GraalOS application is automatically suspended and resumed when called—with no idle cost. Applications and functions that are not receiving requests are terminated on most serverless platforms after a timeout period has been exceeded. An application that is subsequently invoked is subject to a cold start cost. GraalOS’s ability to suspend and rapidly resume your idle applications means no cold start.

Applications, not Containers

GraalOS runs native Linux executables directly—taking advantage of the latest advances in hardware-enforced application isolation. This approach removes the need to package your application into a container, which eliminates challenges such as selecting a secure container image and ensuring that the latest security patches are in place and updated regularly.

Cloud Native

With support for stateful and stateless microservices and functions, GraalOS is ideal for cloud native applications. Both short-lived functions and long-running microservices will benefit from GraalOS features such as virtually no cold start, transparent suspend and resume, and no cost idle.

OCI Functions Powered by GraalOS

The first use of GraalOS technology is in OCI Functions: it will add a new “Graal Function” type that will start much faster and require less memory than existing OCI functions. Thanks to the built-in OCI Functions triggers provided by OCI services such as Events, Connector Hub, Data Integration, API Gateway, and Notifications, all these services will be able to take advantage of GraalOS-powered functions with no changes. To learn more, see Rishikesh Palve’s blog “Ultra-fast Serverless Functions Powered by GraalOS”.

The Road Ahead

GraalOS is an exciting new application deployment technology. Its first application will be providing new GraalOS powered functions that provide significant benefits to OCI Functions users. We’ll follow that up with a full application deployment platform planned for next year. Stay tuned for more GraalOS developments!

Shaun Smith

Shaun Smith leads product management of Oracle Lab's GraalVM.


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