[Ksummit-2010-discuss] checkpoint-restart: naked patch

Oren Laadan orenl at cs.columbia.edu
Sat Nov 20 10:08:13 PST 2010

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  PINE 4.64   COMPOSE MESSAGE                                                                     
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To      : Tejun Heo <tj at kernel.org>
Cc      : Serge Hallyn <serge.hallyn at canonical.com>,
          Kapil Arya <kapil at ccs.neu.edu>,
          Gene Cooperman <gene at ccs.neu.edu>,
          linux-kernel at vger.kernel.org,
          xemul at sw.ru,
          "Eric W. Biederman" <ebiederm at xmission.com>,
          Linux Containers <containers at lists.osdl.org>
Subject : Re: [Ksummit-2010-discuss] checkpoint-restart: naked patch
----- Message Text -----

[continuation of posting regarding kernel vs userspace approach]

part I: perpsectice about the types of scopes of c/r in discussion
part II: linux-cr design adn objectives
part III: comparison kernel/userspace approaches


Linux-cr is a _generic_ c/r-engine with multiple capabilities. It can
checkpoint a full container, a process hierarchy, or a single process,
For containers, it provides guarantees like restart-ability; For the
others, it provides the flexibility so that c/r-aware applications,
libraries, helpers, and wrappers can glue what they wish to glue.

1) Transparent - completely transparent for container-c/r, and largely
  so for standalone-cr ("largely" - as in except for the glue which is
  needed due to loss of eco-system, not due to restarting).
2) Reliable - if checkpoint succeeds that it is guaranteed for
  to succeed too (for container-c/r).
3) Preemtptive - works without requiring that checkpointed processes
  be scheduled to run (and thus "collaborate")
4) Complete - covers all visible and hidden state in the kernel
  about processes (even if not directly visible to userspace)
5) Efficient - can be optimized along multiple axes: _zero_ impact on
  runtime, low downtime during checkpoint, partial and incremental
  checkpoint, live-migration, etc.
6) Flexible - can integrate nicely with different userspace "glueing"
7) Maintainable - small part of the code is to refactor kernel code
  so that it can be reused in restart; the rest is new code that in
  our experience rarely changes. Same hods for the image format.

What linux-cr _does not_ do in the kernel, nor plans to support is:

1) Hardware devices: their state is per-device/vendor. Instead one
   should use virtual devices (VNC for dislpay, pulseaudio for sound,
   screen for ttys), or have a userspace glue to restore the state of
   the device. That said, in the future vendors may opt to provide
   logic for c/r in drivers, e.g. ->checkpoint, ->restart methods.
2) Userspace glue: (as defined for standalone-c/r above) the kernel
   knows about processes and their state, not about their intentions.
   We leave that for userspace.
3) External dependencies: (outside of the local host) the kernel does
   not control what's outside the host. That is the responsibility of
   userspace. (Even with live-migration, the linux-cr only restores
   the local state of the TCP connections).


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