[RFC][PATCH 2/2] CR: handle a single task with private memory maps

Louis Rilling Louis.Rilling at kerlabs.com
Thu Jul 31 08:58:56 PDT 2008

On Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 11:09:54AM -0400, Oren Laadan wrote:
> Louis Rilling wrote:
>> On Wed, Jul 30, 2008 at 06:20:32PM -0400, Oren Laadan wrote:
>>> Serge E. Hallyn wrote:
>>>> Quoting Oren Laadan (orenl at cs.columbia.edu):
>>>>> +int do_checkpoint(struct cr_ctx *ctx)
>>>>> +{
>>>>> +	int ret;
>>>>> +
>>>>> +	/* FIX: need to test whether container is checkpointable */
>>>>> +
>>>>> +	ret = cr_write_hdr(ctx);
>>>>> +	if (!ret)
>>>>> +		ret = cr_write_task(ctx, current);
>>>>> +	if (!ret)
>>>>> +		ret = cr_write_tail(ctx);
>>>>> +
>>>>> +	/* on success, return (unique) checkpoint identifier */
>>>>> +	if (!ret)
>>>>> +		ret = ctx->crid;
>>>> Does this crid have a purpose?
>>> yes, at least three; both are for the future, but important to set the
>>> meaning of the return value of the syscall already now. The "crid" is
>>> the CR-identifier that identifies the checkpoint. Every checkpoint is
>>> assigned a unique number (using an atomic counter).
>>> 1) if a checkpoint is taken and kept in memory (instead of to a file) then
>>> this will be the identifier with which the restart (or cleanup) would refer
>>> to the (in memory) checkpoint image
>>> 2) to reduce downtime of the checkpoint, data will be aggregated on the
>>> checkpoint context, as well as referenced to (cow-ed) pages. This data can
>>> persist between calls to sys_checkpoint(), and the 'crid', again, will be
>>> used to identify the (in-memory-to-be-dumped-to-storage) context.
>>> 3) for incremental checkpoint (where a successive checkpoint will only
>>> save what has changed since the previous checkpoint) there will be a need
>>> to identify the previous checkpoints (to be able to know where to take
>>> data from during restart). Again, a 'crid' is handy.
>>> [in fact, for the 3rd use, it will make sense to write that number as
>>> part of the checkpoint image header]
>>> Note that by doing so, a process that checkpoints itself (in its own
>>> context), can use code that is similar to the logic of fork():
>>> 	...
>>> 	crid = checkpoint(...);
>>> 	switch (crid) {
>>> 	case -1:
>>> 		perror("checkpoint failed");
>>> 		break;
>>> 	default:
>>> 		fprintf(stderr, "checkpoint succeeded, CRID=%d\n", ret);
>>> 		/* proceed with execution after checkpoint */
>>> 		...
>>> 		break;
>>> 	case 0:
>>> 		fprintf(stderr, "returned after restart\n");
>>> 		/* proceed with action required following a restart */
>>> 		...
>>> 		break;
>>> 	}
>>> 	...
>> If I understand correctly, this crid can live for quite a long time. So many of
>> them could be generated while some container would accumulate incremental
>> checkpoints on, say crid 5, and possibly crid 5 could be reused for another
>> unrelated checkpoint during that time. This brings the issue of allocating crids
>> reliably (using something like a pidmap for instance). Moreover, if such ids are
>> exposed to userspace, we need to remember which ones are allocated accross
>> reboots and migrations.
>> I'm afraid that this becomes too complex...
> And I'm afraid I didn't explain myself well. So let me rephrase:
> CRIDs are always _local_ to a specific node. The local CRID counter is
> bumped (atomically) with each checkpoint attempt. The main use case is
> for when the checkpoint is kept is memory either shortly (until it is
> written back to disk) or for a longer time (use-cases that want to keep
> it there). It only remains valid as long as the checkpoint image is
> still in memory and have not been committed to storage/network. Think
> of it as a way to identify the operation instance.
> So they can live quite a long time, but only as long as the original
> node is still alive and the checkpoint is still kept in memory. They
> are meaningless across reboots and migrations. I don't think a wrap
> around is a concern, but we can use 64 bit if that is the case.
> Finally, the incremental checkpoint use-case: imagine a container that
> is checkpointed regularly every minutes. The first checkpoint will be
> a full checkpoint, say CRID=1. The second will be incremental with
> respect to the first, with CRID=2, and so on the third and the forth.
> Userspace could use these CRID to name the image files (for example,
> app.img.CRID). Assume that we decide (big "if") that the convention is
> that the last part of the filename must be the CRID, and if we decide
> (another big "if") to save the CRID as part of the checkpoint image --
> the part that describe the "incremental nature" of a new checkpoint.
> (That part would specify where to get state that wasn't really saved
> in the new checkpoint but instead can be retrieved from older ones).
> If that was the case, then the logic in the kernel would be fairly
> to find (and access) the actual files that hold the data. Note, that
> in this case - the CRID are guaranteed to be unique per series of
> incremental checkpoints, and incremental chekcpoint is meaningless
> across reboots (and we can require that across migration too).

Letting the kernel guess where to find the missing data of an incremental
checkpoint seems a bit hazardous indeed. What about just appending incremental
checkpoints to the last full checkpoint file?

> We probably don't want to use something like a pid to identify the
> checkpoint (while in memory), because we may have multiple checkpoints
> in memory at a time (of the same container).


>> It would be way easier if the only (kernel-level) references to a checkpoint
>> were pointers to its context. Ideally, the only reference would live in a
>> 'struct container' and would be easily updated at restart-time.
> Consider the following scenario of calls from user-space (which is
> how I envision the checkpoint optimized for minimal downtime, in the
> future):
> 1)	while (syscall_to_do_precopy)		<- do precopy until ready to
> 		if (too_long_already)		<- checkpoint or too long
> 			break;
> 2)	freeze_container();
> 3)	crid = checkpoint(.., .., CR_CKPT_LAZY);	<- checkpoint container
> 							<- don't commit to disk
> 							<- (minimize owntime)
> 4)	unfreeze_container();			<- now can unfreeze container
> 						<- already as soon as possible
> 5)	ckpt_writeback(crid, fd);		<- container is back running. we
> 						<- can commit data to storage or
> 						<- network in the background.
> #2 and #4 are done with freezer_cgroup()
> #1, #3 and #5 must be syscalls
> More specifically, syscall #5 must be able to refer to the result of syscall #3
> (that is the CRID !). It is possible that another syscall #3 occur, on the same
> container, between steps 4 and 5 ... but then that checkpoint will be assigned
> another, unique CRID.

Hm, assuming that, as proposed above, incremental checkpoints are stored in the
same file as the ancestor full checkpoint, why not simply give fd as argument in
#5? I'd expect that the kernel would associate the file descriptor to the
checkpoint until it is finalized (written back, sent over the wire, etc.).

Maybe I'm still missing something...

>> My $0.02 ...
> Thanks... American or Canadian ?  ;)

Since I only have the canadian cityzenship, you can guess easily ;)

Thanks for your patient explanations!


Dr Louis Rilling			Kerlabs
Skype: louis.rilling			Batiment Germanium
Phone: (+33|0) 6 80 89 08 23		80 avenue des Buttes de Coesmes
http://www.kerlabs.com/			35700 Rennes
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