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

Bogdan Nicolae 1, 2, * Franck Cappello 2, 3, 4, 5
* Corresponding author
4 GRAND-LARGE - Global parallel and distributed computing
LRI - Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique, LIFL - Laboratoire d'Informatique Fondamentale de Lille, UP11 - Université Paris-Sud - Paris 11, Inria Saclay - Ile de France, CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique : UMR8623
Abstract : 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 a real-life HPC application.
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Bogdan Nicolae, Franck Cappello. BlobCR: Virtual Disk Based Checkpoint-Restart for HPC Applications on IaaS Clouds. Journal of Parallel and Distributed Computing, Elsevier, 2013, 73 (5), pp.698-711. ⟨10.1016/j.jpdc.2013.01.013⟩. ⟨hal-00857964⟩

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