Authors (if Research)
Lagar-Cavilla HA, Whitney JA, Scannell AM, et al.
European Conference on Computer Systems. 2009:11.
Virtual Machine (VM) fork is a new cloud computing abstraction
that instantaneously clones a VM into multiple
replicas running on different hosts. All replicas share the
same initial state, matching the intuitive semantics of stateful
worker creation. VM fork thus enables the straightforward
creation and efficient deployment of many tasks demanding
swift instantiation of stateful workers in a cloud environment,
e.g. excess load handling, opportunistic job placement,
or parallel computing. Lack of instantaneous stateful
cloning forces users of cloud computing into ad hoc practices
to manage application state and cycle provisioning.We
present SnowFlock, our implementation of the VM fork abstraction.
To evaluate SnowFlock, we focus on the demanding
scenario of services requiring on-the-fly creation of hundreds
of parallel workers in order to solve computationallyintensive
queries in seconds. These services are prominent in
fields such as bioinformatics, finance, and rendering. Snow-
Flock provides sub-second VM cloning, scales to hundreds
of workers, consumes few cloud I/O resources, and has negligible