Understanding the Impact of BPRAM on Incremental Checkpoint

Xu LI  Kai LU  Xiaoping WANG  Bin DAI  Xu ZHOU  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E96-D   No.3   pp.663-672
Publication Date: 2013/03/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E96.D.663
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Dependable Computing
fault tolerance,  incremental checkpoint,  BPRAM,  large scale system,  

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Existing large-scale systems suffer from various hardware/software failures, motivating the research of fault-tolerance techniques. Checkpoint-restart techniques are widely applied fault-tolerance approaches, especially in scientific computing systems. However, the overhead of checkpoint largely influences the overall system performance. Recently, the emerging byte-addressable, persistent memory technologies, such as phase change memory (PCM), make it possible to implement checkpointing in arbitrary data granularity. However, the impact of data granularity on the checkpointing cost has not been fully addressed. In this paper, we investigate how data granularity influences the performance of a checkpoint system. Further, we design and implement a high-performance checkpoint system named AG-ckpt. AG-ckpt is a hybrid-granularity incremental checkpointing scheme through: (1) low-cost modified-memory detection and (2) fine-grained memory duplication. Moreover, we also formulize the performance-granularity relationship of checkpointing systems through a mathematical model, and further obtain the optimum solutions. We conduct the experiments through several typical benchmarks to verify the performance gain of our design. Compared to conventional incremental checkpoint, our results show that AG-ckpt can reduce checkpoint data amount up to 50% and provide a speedup of 1.2x-1.3x on checkpoint efficiency.