Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Liberating Virtual Machines from Physical Boundaries
through Execution Knowledge

Yoshihisa Abe

December 2015

Ph.D. Thesis


Keywords: Virtualization, Migration, Operating systems, Cloud computing, Interactivity

Hardware virtualization enables remote instantiation of computation through the preserved executability of encapsulated software. The large size of virtual machines (VMs), however, poses challenges in exploiting this strong feature under the existence of resource constraints. In this thesis, we claim that the use of execution knowledge achieves the efficiency and timeliness of VM state transfer in such environments. We demonstrate its effectiveness in two concrete contexts in which the challenges materialize: 1) VM delivery over WANs, with network resource limitations, and 2) urgent migration of VMs under contention, with strict time requirements. In the context of VM delivery overWANs, we take advantage of the knowledge about past VM execution instances. We conduct the evaluation of vTube, a system for efficiently streaming virtual appliances, from both systems and human-centric perspectives. In the context of urgent migration of VMs under contention, we leverage current execution knowledge at the guest OS level. Our approach, called enlightened post-copy, uses this knowledge to expedite the resolution of contention between VMs. Our proposed solutions address the corresponding problems by providing VM performance as defined by critical metrics in their specific contexts.

143 pages

Thesis Committee:
Mahadev Satyanarayanan (Chair)
Daniel P. Siewiorek
Todd Mowry
Kaustubh Joshi(AT&T Research)
Roxana Geambasu (Columbia University)

Frank Pfenning, Head, Computer Science Department
Andrew W. Moore, Dean, School of Computer Science

Return to: SCS Technical Report Collection
School of Computer Science

This page maintained by