Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Transparent Automatic Migration of
Interactive Resource-Intensive Applications

H. Andres Lagar-Cavilla*, Niraj Tolia**
Eyal de Lara*, M. Satyanarayanan, David O'Hallaron

January 2007


Keywords: Bimodal applications, interactive, resource-intensive, crunch, cognitive, virtual machine, VM migration, code mobility, application partioning

Snowbird is a system that simplifies the development and use of applications that alternate between phases with heavy computational-resource needs and phases rich in user interaction. Examples of these applications include video editing and animation, as well as scientific, medical, and engineering diagnostic and design tools. Traditionally, these applications have been implemented as distributed programs. Snowbird, however, lets developers design their applications as monolithic units, and automatically migrates the application to the optimal execution site to achieve short completion time and crisp interactive performance. Snowbird augments VM migration with an automatic migration manager, graphics hardware acceleration, and a peer-to-peer storage system to accomplish these goals while avoiding the shortcomings that have limited the adoption of previous code mobility prototypes. Snowbird does not require that applications be written in a specific language, or use specific libraries, and can be used with existing applications. We present experimental results including some with closed-source commercial applications that validate Snowbird's approach to automatic migration.

30 pages

*University of Toronto, Canada
**Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

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