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Live migration of virtual machines has been a powerful tool to facilitate system maintenance, load balancing, fault tolerance, and power-saving, especially in clusters or data centers. Although pre-copy is a predominantly used approach in the state of the art, it is difficult to provide quick migration with low network overhead, due to a great amount of transferred data during migration, leading to large performance degradation of virtual machine services. This paper presents the design and implementation of a novel memory-compression-based VM migration approach (MECOM) that first uses memory compression to provide fast, stable virtual machine migration, while guaranteeing the virtual machine services to be slightly affected. Based on memory page characteristics, we design an adaptive zero-aware compression algorithm for balancing the performance and the cost of virtual machine migration. Pages are quickly compressed in batches on the source and exactly recovered on the target. Experiment demonstrates that compared with Xen, our system can significantly reduce 27.1% of downtime, 32% of total migration time and 68.8% of total transferred data on average.
Date of Conference: Aug. 31 2009-Sept. 4 2009