DATE: Thursday November 14, 2002
TIME: Noon - 1:00 p.m.
PLACE: Hamerschlag Hall, D-210

Steven Osman
Graduate Student, SCS, CMU

Zap: A System for Migrating Computing Environments


Process migration is the ability to transfer a process from one machine to another. The potential benefits of process migration, among others, are fault resilience by migrating processes off of faulty hosts, data access
locality by migrating processes closer to the data, better system response time by migrating processes closer to users, dynamic load balances and improved service availability by migrating processes before host

This talk presents 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. A Zap prototype has been implemented in Linux that supports transparent migration of unmodified applications without any kernel modifications.

This talk illustrates a set of principles introduced by Zap and the motivation behind them, shows how Zap applies these principles to the various operating system resources required by processes, and finally gives
experimental results comparing Zap to a virtual machine monitor migration approach using VMware.

Steven Osman is a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University. He is working with Randy Pausch and Jessica Hodgins on evaluating and optimizing a motion capture-based virtual reality system for training applications. He received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the School of General Studies at Columbia University in May 2002 where he conducted research at the Network Computing Lab under the guidance of Professor Jason Nieh. Prior to completing his undergraduate degree he worked for a number of financial, electronic commerce, and web development companies.

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