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Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) has become an increasingly popular type of service for both private and public clouds. The virtual infrastructures that enable IaaS support multitenancy by multiplexing the computational resources of data centers and result in substantial reductions in operational costs. Since hardware and software failures occur on a routine basis in large-scale systems, it is imperative for cloud providers to offer various failure recovery options for distributed services hosted on such infrastructures. In this article we present GENI-VIOLIN, a new cloud capability that can checkpoint a stateful distributed service while incurring very low overhead. The unique aspect of GENI-VIOLIN compared to previous work is that GENI-VIOLIN exploits programmable OpenFlow switches to provide checkpointing services in the network, thereby requiring minimal changes to the end host virtualization framework. We have developed a prototype of GENI-VIOLIN using the GENI infrastructure, and have demonstrated GENI-VIOLIN's checkpoint and restore capability across multiple GENI sites.