Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Low-Bandwidth VM Migration via Opportunistic Replay

Ajay Surie, Andrés Lagar-Cavilla*
Eyal de Lara*, M. Satyanarayanan

October 2007


Keywords: Xen, virtual machines, VMM, mobile computing, nomadic computing, pervasive computing, wireless networks, compression, performance, log-based strategies, content-addressable storage, CAS, seamless mobility, Internet Suspend/Resume®, OpenISR™

Virtual machine (VM) migration has been proposed as a building block for mobile computing. An important challenge for VM migration is to optimize the transfer of large amounts of disk and memory state. We propose a solution based on opportunistic replay of user actions. In contrast to other replay techniques, opportunistic replay captures user interactions with applications at the GUI level, resulting in very small replay logs that economize network utilization. Replay of user interactions on a VM at the migration target site can result in divergent VM state. Cryptographic hashing techniques are used to identify and transmit only the differences. We present a study of the implementation challenges of this approach, and encouraging results with a preliminary prototype that show savings of up to 80.5% of bytes transferred.

9 pages

*University of Toronto, Canada

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