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Enabling Instantaneous Relocation of Virtual Machines with a Lightweight VMM Extension

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4 Author(s)
Takahiro Hirofuchi ; Nat. Inst. of Adv. Ind. Sci. & Technol. (AIST), Tsukuba, Japan ; Hidemoto Nakada ; Satoshi Itoh ; Satoshi Sekiguchi

We are developing an efficient resource management system with aggressive virtual machine (VM) relocation among physical nodes in a data center. Existing live migration technology, however, requires a long time to change the execution host of a VM, it is difficult to optimize VM packing on physical nodes dynamically, corresponding to ever-changing resource usage. In this paper, we propose an advanced live migration mechanism enabling instantaneous relocation of VMs. To minimize the time needed for switching the execution host, memory pages are transferred after a VM resumes at a destination host. A special character device driver allows transparent memory page retrievals from a source host for the running VM at the destination. In comparison with related work, the proposed mechanism supports guest operating systems without any modifications to them (i.e, no special device drivers and programs are needed in VMs). It is implemented as a lightweight extension to KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine Monitor). It is not required to modify critical parts of the VMM code. Experiments were conducted using the SPECweb2005 benchmark. A running VM with heavily-loaded web servers was successfully relocated to a destination within one second. Temporal performance degradation after relocation was resolved by means of a precaching mechanism for memory pages. In addition, for memory intensive workloads, our migration mechanism moved all the states of a VM faster than existing migration technology.

Published in:

Cluster, Cloud and Grid Computing (CCGrid), 2010 10th IEEE/ACM International Conference on

Date of Conference:

17-20 May 2010