Linux Symposium

Comparing different approaches for Incremental Checkpointing: The Showdown

Frank Mueller

Recent work on checkpoint/restart (C/R) has shown that incremental C/R techniques can reduce the amount of data written at checkpoints and thus the overall C/R overhead and impact of the PFS.

The contributions of this work are twofold. First, it presents the design and implementation of two memory management schemes that enable incremental checkpointing. We describe unique approaches to incremental checkpointing that does not require kernel patching in one case and only requires minimal kernel extensions in the other case. The work is carried out within the latest Berkeley Labs Checkpoint Restart (BLCR) as part of an upcoming release. Second, we evaluate the two schemes in terms of their system overhead for single-node microbenchmarks and multi-node cluster workloads. In short, this work is the final showdown between page write bit (WB) protection and dirty bit (DB) page tracking as a hardware means to support incremental checkpointing.

Our results show savings of the DB approach over WB approach in almost all the tests. Further, DB has the potential of a significant reduction in kernel activity, which is of utmost relevance for proactive fault tolerance where an immanent fault can be circumvented if DB-based live migrations moves a process away from hardware about to fail.

Policies   |   Media Archives