A WAN-Optimized Live Storage Migration Mechanism toward Virtual Machine Evacuation upon Severe Disasters

Mauricio TSUGAWA
Hidemoto NAKADA
Tomohiro KUDOH
Satoshi ITOH

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E96-D    No.12    pp.2663-2674
Publication Date: 2013/12/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E96.D.2663
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Parallel and Distributed Computing and Networking)
disaster recovery,  live migration,  virtual machine,  virtual machine monitor,  

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Wide-area VM migration is a technology with potential to aid IT services recovery since it can be used to evacuate virtualized servers to safe locations upon a critical disaster. However, the amount of data involved in a wide-area VM migration is substantially larger compared to VM migrations within LAN due to the need to transfer virtualized storage in addition to memory and CPU states. This increase of data makes it challenging to relocate VMs under a limited time window with electrical power. In this paper, we propose a mechanism to improve live storage migration across WAN. The key idea is to reduce the amount of data to be transferred by proactively caching virtual disk blocks to a backup site during regular VM operation. As a result of pre-cached disk blocks, the proposed mechanism can dramatically reduce the amount of data and consequently the time required to live migrate the entire VM state. The mechanism was evaluated using a prototype implementation under different workloads and network conditions, and we confirmed that it dramatically reduces the time to complete a VM live migration. By using the proposed mechanism, it is possible to relocate a VM from Japan to the United States in just under 40 seconds. This relocation would otherwise take over 1500 seconds, demonstrating that the proposed mechanism was able to reduce the migration time by 97.5%.