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This paper describes the design, implementation, and evaluation of a run-time system for clusters of workstations that allows the rapid testing of checkpoint protocols with standard benchmarks. To achieve this goal, RENEW provides a flexible set of operations that facilitates the integration of a protocol in the system with reduced programming effort. To support a broad range of applications, RENEW exports, as its external interface, the industry endorsed Message Passing Interface (MPI). Three distinct classes of protocols were evaluated using the RENEW environment with SPEC and NAS benchmarks on a network of workstations connected by ATM. It was observed that the communication-induced protocol emulated the behavior of the coordinated protocol, with comparable performance. The message logging protocol degraded the performance. Even though the message logging protocol was slower due to log replay, all three protocols required a similar amount of time to restore the application to the same state as before failure occurred and recovery was initiated.