This paper presents a data management solution which allows fast Virtual Machine (VM) instantiation and efficient run-time execution to support VMs as execution environments in Grid computing. It is based on novel distributed file system virtualization techniques and is unique in that: (1) it provides on-demand cross-domain access to VM state for unmodified VM monitors; (2) it enables private file system channels for VM instantiation by secure tunneling and session-key based authentication; (3) it supports user-level and write-back disk caches, per-application caching policies and middleware-driven consistency models; and (4) it leverages application-specific meta-data associated with files to expedite data transfers. The paper reports on its performance in wide-area setups using VMware-based VMs. Results show that the solution delivers performance over 30% better than native NFS and with warm caches it can bring the application-perceived overheads below 10% compared to a local-disk setup. The solution also allows a VM with 1.6 GB virtual disk and 320 MB virtual memory to be cloned within 160 seconds for the first clone and within 25 seconds for subsequent clones.
- Distributed file system
- Grid computing
- Virtual machine
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Networks and Communications