The virtualization technology has a great potential to improve the manageability and scalability of industrial control systems, as it can host and consolidate computing resources very efficiently. There accordingly have been efforts to utilize the virtualization technology for industrial control systems, but the research for virtualization of traditional industrial real-time networks, such as Controller Area Network (CAN), has been done in a very limited scope. Those traditional fieldbuses have distinguished characteristics from well-studied Ethernet-based networks; thus, it is necessary to study how to support their inherent functions transparently and how to guarantee Quality-of-Service (QoS) in virtualized environments. In this paper, we suggest a lightweight CAN virtualization technology for virtual controllers to tackle both functionality and QoS issues. We particularly target the virtual controllers that are containerized with an operating-system(OS)-based virtualization technology. In the functionality aspect, our virtualization technology provides virtual CAN interfaces and virtual CAN buses at the device driver level. In the QoS perspective, we provide a hierarchical real-time scheduler and a simulator, which enable the adjustment of phase offsets of virtual controllers and tasks. The experiment results show that our CAN virtualization has lower overheads than an existing approach up to 20%. Moreover, we show that the worst-case end-to-end delay could be reduced up to 78.7% by adjusting the phase offsets of virtual controllers and tasks.
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