Virtual Machine Migration in Cloud Computing Environments: Benefits, Challenges, and Approaches

Virtual Machine Migration in Cloud Computing Environments: Benefits, Challenges, and Approaches

Raouf Boutaba (University of Waterloo, Canada), Qi Zhang (University of Waterloo, Canada) and Mohamed Faten Zhani (University of Waterloo, Canada)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4522-6.ch017
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Recent developments in virtualization and communication technologies have transformed the way data centers are designed and operated by providing new tools for better sharing and control of data center resources. In particular, Virtual Machine (VM) migration is a powerful management technique that gives data center operators the ability to adapt the placement of VMs in order to better satisfy performance objectives, improve resource utilization and communication locality, mitigate performance hotspots, achieve fault tolerance, reduce energy consumption, and facilitate system maintenance activities. Despite these potential benefits, VM migration also poses new requirements on the design of the underlying communication infrastructure, such as addressing and bandwidth requirements to support VM mobility. Furthermore, devising efficient VM migration schemes is also a challenging problem, as it not only requires weighing the benefits of VM migration, but also considering migration costs, including communication cost, service disruption, and management overhead. This chapter provides an overview of VM migration benefits and techniques and discusses its related research challenges in data center environments. Specifically, the authors first provide an overview of VM migration technologies used in production environments as well as the necessary virtualization and communication technologies designed to support VM migration. Second, they describe usage scenarios of VM migration, highlighting its benefits as well as incurred costs. Next, the authors provide a literature survey of representative migration-based resource management schemes. Finally, they outline some of the key research directions pertaining to VM migration and draw conclusions.
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Overview Of Vm Migration Technologies

This section overviews existing virtual machine migration technologies, detailing their execution procedures and implementation approaches. The typical architecture of a migration-enabled virtualization platform is depicted in Figure 1 (Rosenblum & Garfinkel, 2005; Bobroff, Kochut, & Beaty, 2007). In addition to the hypervisor which is responsible for runtime resource allocation, a component called migration module is used to perform dynamic VM migration. As a VM primarily consumes four types of resources, namely CPU, memory, disk and network resources, the migration module is responsible for migrating the state of each type of resource from the source to the destination machine. In the following subsections, we discuss the way the state of each type of resource is transferred along with the description of the various migration techniques proposed in the literature.

Figure 1.

Typical architecture of a migration-enabled virtualization platform


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