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JVM 2001 Abstract

JVM Susceptibility to Memory Errors

Deqing Chen, University of Rochester; Alan Messer, Philippe Bernadat, and Guangrui Fu, HP Labs; Zoran Dimitrijevic, University of California, Santa Barbara; David Jeun Fung Lie, Stanford University; Durga Mannaru, Georgia Institute of Technology; Alma Riska, William and Mary College; and Dejan Milojicic, HP Labs


Modern computer systems are becoming more powerful and are using larger memories. However, except for very high end systems, little attention is being paid to high availability. This is particularly true for transient memory errors, which typically cause the entire system to fail. We believe that this situation can be improved by addressing memory errors at all levels of the system, bring commodity systems closer to mainframe-class availability.

In this paper, we use fault injection experiments to investigate memory error susceptibility at the highest level using a JVM and four Java benchmark applications. We then consider JVM data structure checksums to increase detection of silent data corruption affecting the JVM and applications. Our results indicate that the JVM's heap area has a higher memory error susceptibility than its static data area and that we can detect up to 39% of all memory errors in the JVM and application. We believe that such techniques will allow commodity systems to be made much more robust and less error-prone to transient errors.

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Last changed: 3 Jan. 2002 ml
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