NSDI '05 Abstract
Live Migration of Virtual Machines
Christopher Clark, Keir Fraser, and Steven Hand, University of
Cambridge Computer Laboratory; Jacob Gorm Hansen and Eric Jul, University of Copenhagen;
Christian Limpach, Ian Pratt, and Andrew Warfield, University of
Migrating operating system instances across distinct physical hosts is
a useful tool for administrators of data centers and clusters: It
allows a clean separation between hardware and software, and
facilitates fault management, load balancing, and low-level system
By carrying out the majority of migration while OSes continue to run,
we achieve impressive performance with minimal service downtimes; we
demonstrate the migration of entire OS instances on a commodity
cluster, recording service downtimes as low as 60ms. We show that
that our performance is sufficient to make live migration a practical
tool even for servers running interactive loads.
In this paper we consider the design options for migrating OSes
running services with liveness constraints, focusing on data center
and cluster environments. We introduce and analyze the concept of
writable working set, and present the design, implementation
and evaluation of high-performance OS migration built on top of the
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