Live migration of user environments across wide area networks

Zamfir, Cristian (2008) Live migration of user environments across wide area networks. MSc(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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A complex challenge in mobile computing is to allow the user to migrate her highly customised environment while moving to a different location and to continue work without interruption. I motivate why this is a highly desirable capability and conduct a survey of the current approaches towards this goal and explain their limitations. I then propose a new architecture to support user mobility by live migration of a user’s operating system instance over the network. Previous work includes the Collective and Internet Suspend/Resume projects that have addressed migration of a user’s environment by suspending the running state and resuming it at a later time. In contrast to previous work, this work addresses live migration of a user’s operating system instance across wide area links. Live migration is done by performing most of the migration while the operating system is still running, achieving very little downtime and preserving all network connectivity.
I developed an initial proof of concept of this solution. It relies on migrating whole operating systems using the Xen virtual machine and provides a way to perform live migration of persistent storage as well as the network connections across subnets. These challenges have not been addressed previously in this scenario. In a virtual machine environment, persistent storage is provided by virtual block devices. The architecture supports decentralized virtual block device replication across wide area network links, as well as migrating network connection across subnetworks using the Host Identity Protocol. The proposed architecture is compared against existing solutions and an initial performance evaluation of the prototype implementation is presented, showing that such a solution is a promising step towards true seamless mobility of fully fledged computing environments.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: operating systems, mobility, virtual machine, storage, migration
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Supervisor's Name: Perkins, Dr. Colin and Dickman, Dr. Peter
Date of Award: 2008
Depositing User: Mr Cristian Zamfir
Unique ID: glathesis:2008-887
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:27

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