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Live VM Migration: Principles and Performance
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Computing Science. (Cloud and Grid Computing)
2012 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Livemigrering av Virtuella Maskiner : Principer och Prestanda (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Virtualization is a key technology for cloud computing as it allows several operating system instances to run on the same machine, enhances resource manageability and enables flexible definition of billing units. Virtualization works by adding a software layer, a hypervisor, on top of the hardware platform. Virtual Machines, \emph{VMs}, are run on top of the hypervisor, which provisions hardwares resources to the VM guests. In addition to enabling higher utilization of hardware resources, the ability to move VMs from one host to another is an important feature.

Live migration is the concept of migrating a VM while it is running and responding to requests. Since VMs can be re-located while running, live migration allows for better hardware utilization. This is because placement of services can be performed dynamically and not only when the are started. Live migration is also a useful tool for administrative purposes. If a server needs to be taken off-line for maintenance reasons, it can be cleared of services by live migrating these to other hosts.

This thesis investigates the principles behind live migration. The common live migration approaches in use today are evaluated and common objectives are presented as well as challenges that have to be overcome in order to implement an ideal live migration algorithm. The performance of common live migration approaches is also evaluated and it is found that even though live migration is supported by most hypervisors, it has drawbacks which makes the technique hard to use in certain situations. Migrating CPU and/or memory intensive VMs or migrating VMs over low-bandwidth links is a problem regardless of which approach that is used. To tackle this problem, two improvements to live migration are proposed and evaluated, delta compression and dynamic page transfer reordering. Both improvements demonstrate better performance than the standard algorithm when migrating CPU and/or memory intensive VMs and migrating over low bandwidth links. Finally, recommendations are made on which live migration approach to use depending on the scenario and also what improvements to the standard live migration algorithms should be used and when.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 2012. , 14 p.
Series
UMINF / Department of Computing Science, Umeå University, ISSN 0348-0542 ; 2012:12
Keyword [en]
Live Migration, Virtualization
National Category
Computer Systems
Research subject
Computing Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-87246ISBN: 978-91-7459-452-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-87246DiVA: diva2:707793
Presentation
2012-06-08, MIT-huset, MA121, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 16:10 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-03-26 Created: 2014-03-25 Last updated: 2014-04-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Evaluation of delta compression techniques for efficient live migration of large virtual machines
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evaluation of delta compression techniques for efficient live migration of large virtual machines
2011 (English)In: The 2011 ACM SIGPLAN/SIGOPS International Conference on Virtual Execution Environments (VEE 2011), New York, NY: ACM Press, 2011, 111-120 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Despite the widespread support for live migration of Virtual Machines (VMs) in current hypervisors, these have significant shortcomings when it comes to migration of certain types of VMs. More specifically, with existing algorithms, there is a high risk of service interruption when migrating VMs with high workloads and/or over low-bandwidth networks. In these cases, VM memory pages are dirtied faster than they can be transferred over the network, which leads to extended migration downtime. In this contribution, we study the application of delta compression during the transfer of memory pages in order to increase migration throughput and thus reduce downtime. The delta compression live migration algorithm is implemented as a modification to the KVM hypervisor. Its performance is evaluated by migrating VMs running different type of workloads and the evaluation demonstrates a significant decrease in migration downtime in all test cases. In a benchmark scenario the downtime is reduced by a factor of 100. In another scenario a streaming video server is live migrated with no perceivable downtime to the clients while the picture is frozen for eight seconds using standard approaches. Finally, in an enterprise application scenario, the delta compression algorithm successfully live migrates a very large system that fails after migration using the standard algorithm. Finally, we discuss some general effects of delta compression on live migration and analyze when it is beneficial to use this technique.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York, NY: ACM Press, 2011
Series
ACM SIGPLAN Notices, ISSN 1523-2867 ; Vol. 46 Nr. 7
Keyword
Virtualization, Live migration, Compression, Performance evaluation
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-40370 (URN)10.1145/2007477.1952698 (DOI)000294949300011 ()978-1-4503-0687-4 (ISBN)
Conference
7th ACM SIGPLAN/SIGOPS international conference on Virtual execution environments
Available from: 2011-02-22 Created: 2011-02-22 Last updated: 2015-06-17Bibliographically approved
2. High Performance Live Migration through Dynamic Page Transfer Reordering and Compression
Open this publication in new window or tab >>High Performance Live Migration through Dynamic Page Transfer Reordering and Compression
2011 (English)In: 2011 IEEE Third International Conference on Cloud Computing Technology and Science, IEEE Computer Society, 2011, 542-548 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Although supported by many contemporary Virtual Machine (VM) hyper visors, live migration is impossible for certain applications. When migrating CPU and/or memory intensive VMs two problems occur, extended migration downtime that may cause service interruption or even failure, and prolonged total migration time that is harmful for the overall system performance as significant network resources must be allocated to migration. These problems become more severe for migration over slower networks, such as long distance migration between clouds. We approach this two-fold problem through a combination of techniques. A novel algorithm that dynamically adapts the transfer order of VM memory pages during live migration reduces the risk of re-transfers for frequently dirtied pages. As the amount of transferred data is thereby reduced, the total migration time is shortened. By combining this technique with a compression scheme that increases the migration bandwidth the migration downtime is also reduced. An evaluation by means of synthetic migration benchmarks shows that our combined approach reduces migration downtime by a factor 10 to 20, shortens total migration time by around 35%, as well as consumes between 26% and 39% less network bandwidth. The feasibility of our approach for real-life applications is demonstrated by migrating a streaming video server 31% faster while transferring 51% less data.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Computer Society, 2011
Keyword
Virtual machine monitors, Performance evaluation, Platform virtualization
National Category
Computer Science
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-50835 (URN)10.1109/CloudCom.2011.82 (DOI)978-1-4673-0090-2 (ISBN)
Conference
The 3rd IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing Technology and Science (CloudCom 2011) November 29 - December 1, Athens, Greece
Available from: 2011-12-27 Created: 2011-12-27 Last updated: 2014-09-19Bibliographically approved
3. The Noble art of Live Migration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Noble art of Live Migration
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Although a mature technique and an important feature of virtualization, live VM migration still suffers from performance and robustness issues, limiting its usefulness. This is particularly true if the migration technique is not appropriately selected for the usage scenario. In this contribution, we define requirements for live migration and discuss some of the challenges that arise in meeting these. We investigate, categorize, and compare current approaches to live migration as well as provide guidelines for which to use in different scenarios. Our investigation is validated by a set of experiments that highlights different characteristics of these approaches. We also propose methods for hybrid live migration and an improved memory page reordering algorithm. Finally we outline the future research landscape in the area. 

Keyword
Virtualization, Live Migration, Survey
National Category
Computer Systems
Research subject
Computing Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-87241 (URN)
Note

Technical Report, UMINF-12.11

Available from: 2014-03-25 Created: 2014-03-25 Last updated: 2014-04-14Bibliographically approved

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