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USENIX, The Advanced Computing Systems Association

4th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design & Implementation

Pp. 229242 of the Proceedings

Black-box and Gray-box Strategies for Virtual Machine Migration

Timothy Wood, Prashant Shenoy, and Arun Venkataramani, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Mazin Yousif, Intel, Portland


Virtualization can provide significant benefits in data centers by enabling virtual machine migration to eliminate hotspots. We present Sandpiper, a system that automates the task of monitoring and detecting hotspots, determining a new mapping of physical to virtual resources and initiating the necessary migrations. Sandpiper implements a black-box approach that is fully OS- and application-agnostic and a gray-box approach that exploits OS- and application-level statistics. We implement our techniques in Xen and conduct a detailed evaluation using a mix of CPU, network and memory-intensive applications. Our results show that Sandpiper is able to resolve single server hotspots within 20 seconds and scales well to larger, data center environments. We also show that the gray-box approach can help Sandpiper make more informed decisions, particularly in response to memory pressure.

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