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Fast Software Rejuvenation of Virtual Machine Monitors
November/December 2011 (vol. 8 no. 6)
pp. 839-851
Kenichi Kourai, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Fukuoka
Shigeru Chiba, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo
As server consolidation using virtual machines (VMs) is carried out, software aging of virtual machine monitors (VMMs) is becoming critical. Since a VMM is fundamental software for running VMs, its performance degradation or crash failure affects all VMs running on top of it. To counteract such software aging, a proactive technique called software rejuvenation has been proposed. A simple example of rejuvenation is to reboot a VMM. However, simply rebooting a VMM is undesirable because that needs rebooting operating systems on all VMs. In this paper, we propose a new technique for fast rejuvenation of VMMs called the warm-VM reboot. The warm-VM reboot enables efficiently rebooting only a VMM by suspending and resuming VMs without saving the memory images to persistent storage. To achieve this, we have developed two mechanisms: on-memory suspend/resume of VMs and quick reload of a VMM. Compared with a normal reboot, the warm-VM reboot reduced the downtime by 74 percent at maximum. It also prevented the performance degradation due to cache misses after the reboot, which was 52 percent in case of a normal reboot. In a cluster environment, the warm-VM reboot achieved higher total throughput than the system using VM migration and a normal reboot.

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Index Terms:
Operating systems, checkpoint/restart, main memory, availability, performance.
Citation:
Kenichi Kourai, Shigeru Chiba, "Fast Software Rejuvenation of Virtual Machine Monitors," IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, vol. 8, no. 6, pp. 839-851, Nov.-Dec. 2011, doi:10.1109/TDSC.2010.20
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