ZAP: Transparent Checkpoint-Restart and Migration Using Operating System Virtualization

We have created Zap, a novel system for transparent migration of legacy and networked applications. Zap provides a thin virtualization layer on top of the operating system that introduces pods, which are groups of processes that are provided a consistent, virtualized view of the system. This decouples processes in pods from dependencies to the host operating system and other processes on the system. By integrating Zap virtualization with a checkpoint-restart mechanism, Zap can migrate a pod of processes as a unit among machines running independent operating systems without leaving behind any residual state after migration.

We have implemented a Zap prototype in Linux that supports transparent migration of unmodified applications without any kernel modifications. Our Linux Zap system extends a novel checkpoint / restart mechanism implementation from our earlier work on CRAK, a system that provided process Checkpoint and Restart As a Kernel Module for Linux. We demonstrate that our Linux Zap prototype can provide general-purpose process migration functionality with low overhead. Our experimental results for migrating pods used for running a standard user's X windows desktop computing environment and for running an Apache web server show that these kinds of pods can be migrated with subsecond checkpoint and restart latencies.

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