Issue No. 01 - January/February (2012 vol. 9)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/TDSC.2010.53
Casey M. Jeffery , University of Florida, Gainesville
Renato J.O. Figueiredo , University of Florida, Gainesville
There is an increasing need for fault tolerance capabilities in logic devices brought about by the scaling of transistors to ever smaller geometries. This paper presents a hypervisor-based replication approach that can be applied to commodity hardware to allow for virtually lockstepped execution. It offers many of the benefits of hardware-based lockstep while being cheaper and easier to implement and more flexible in the configurations supported. A novel form of processor state fingerprinting is also presented, which can significantly reduce the fault detection latency. This further improves reliability by triggering rollback recovery before errors are recorded to a checkpoint. The mechanisms are validated using a full prototype and the benchmarks considered indicate an average performance overhead of approximately 14 percent with the possibility for significant optimization. Finally, a unique method of using virtual lockstep for fault injection testing is presented and used to show that significant detection latency reduction is achievable by comparing only a small amount of data across replicas.
Virtualization, fault injection, dependable architectures, software reliability, autonomic computing.
Casey M. Jeffery, Renato J.O. Figueiredo, "A Flexible Approach to Improving System Reliability with Virtual Lockstep", IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, vol. 9, no. , pp. 2-15, January/February 2012, doi:10.1109/TDSC.2010.53