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WOW: Self-Organizing Wide Area Overlay Networks of Virtual Workstations

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4 Author(s)
A. Ganguly ; Adv. Comput. & Inf. Syst. Lab., Florida Univ., Gainesville, FL ; A. Agrawal ; P. O. Boykin ; R. Figueiredo

This paper describes WOW, a distributed system that combines virtual machine, overlay networking and peer-to-peer techniques to create scalable wide-area networks of virtual workstations for high-throughput computing. The system is architected to: facilitate the addition of nodes to a pool of resources through the use of system virtual machines (VMs) and self-organizing virtual network links; to maintain IP connectivity even if VMs migrate across network domains; and to present to end-users and applications an environment that is functionally identical to a local-area network or cluster of workstations. We describe a novel, extensible user-level decentralized technique to discover, establish and maintain overlay links to tunnel IP packets over different transports (including UDP and TCP) and across firewalls. We also report on several experiments conducted on a testbed WOW deployment with 118 P2P router nodes over PlanetLab and 33 VMware-based VM nodes distributed across six firewalled domains. Experiments show that the latency in joining a WOW network is of the order of seconds: in a set of 300 trials, 90% of the nodes self-configured P2P routes within 10 seconds, and more than 99% established direct connections to other nodes within 200 seconds. Experiments also show that the testbed delivers good performance for two unmodified, representative benchmarks drawn from the life-sciences domain. The testbed WOW achieves an overall throughput of 53 jobs/minute for PBS-scheduled executions of the MEME application (with average single-job sequential running time of 24.1s) and a parallel speedup of 13.5 for the PVM-based fastDNAml application. Experiments also demonstrate that the system is capable of seamlessly maintaining connectivity at the virtual IP layer for typical client/server applications (NFS, SSH, PBS) when VMs migrate across a WAN

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2006 15th IEEE International Conference on High Performance Distributed Computing

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