Post-copy live migration of virtual machines

Michael R. Hines, Umesh Deshpande, Kartik Gopalan
2009 ACM SIGOPS Operating Systems Review  
1 We present the design, implementation, and evaluation of post-copy based live migration for virtual machines (VMs) across a Gigabit LAN. Post-copy migration defers the transfer of a VM's memory contents until after its processor state has been sent to the target host. This deferral is in contrast to the traditional pre-copy approach, which first copies the memory state over multiple iterations followed by a final transfer of the processor state. The post-copy strategy can provide a "win-win"
more » ... y reducing total migration time while maintaining the liveness of the VM during migration. We compare post-copy extensively against the traditional precopy approach on the Xen Hypervisor. Using a range of VM workloads we show that post-copy improves several metrics including pages transferred, total migration time, and network overhead. We facilitate the use of post-copy with adaptive prepaging techniques to minimize the number of page faults across the network. We propose different prepaging strategies and quantitatively compare their effectiveness in reducing network-bound page faults. Finally, we eliminate the transfer of free memory pages in both pre-copy and postcopy through a dynamic self-ballooning (DSB) mechanism. DSB periodically reclaims free pages from a VM and significantly speeds up migration with negligible performance impact on VM workload.
doi:10.1145/1618525.1618528 fatcat:cxv6du3lvfhapikorj6xkr3dda