BlobCR: Virtual Disk Based Checkpoint-Restart for HPC Applications on IaaS Clouds

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud computing is gaining significant interest in industry and academia as an alternative platform for running HPC applications. Given the need to provide fault tolerance, support for suspend-resume and offline migration, an efficient Checkpoint-Restart mechanism becomes paramount in this context. We propose BlobCR, a dedicated checkpoint repository that is able to take live incremental snapshots of the whole disk attached to the virtual machine (VM) instances. BlobCR aims to minimize the performance overhead of checkpointing by persisting VM disk snapshots asynchronously in the background using a low overhead technique we call selective copy-on-write. It includes support for both application-level and process-level checkpointing, as well as support to roll back file system changes. Experiments at large scale demonstrate the benefits of our proposal both in synthetic settings and for real-life HPC applications.

By: Bogdan Nicolae, Franck Cappello

Published in: RC25303 in 2012


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