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Maintaining Network QoS Across NIC Device Driver Failures



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8th IEEE International Symposium on Network Computing and Applications Cambridge MA July 2009 Maintaining Network QoS Across NIC Device Driver Failures Using Virtualization Michael Le Andrew Gallagher Yuval Tamir Concurrent Systems Laboratory UCLA Computer Science Department mvle ajcg tamir cs ucla edu Abstract Device driver failures have been shown to be a major cause of system failures Network services stress NIC device drivers increasing the probability of NIC driver bugs being manifested as server failures System virtualization is increasingly used for server consolidation and management The isolated driver domain IDD architecture used by several virtual machine monitors such as Xen forms a natural foundation for making systems resilient to NIC driver failures In order to realize this potential recovery must be fast enough to maintain QoS for network services across NIC driver failures We show that the standard Xen configuration enhanced with simple detection and recovery mechanisms cannot provide such QoS However with NIC drivers isolated in two virtual machines in a primary warm spare configuration the system can recover from an overwhelming majority of NIC driver failures in under 10ms I Introduction A significant fraction of bugs in operating systems are found in device drivers 3 Thus errors in drivers are a major cause of system failures 18 A faulty device driver can cause the entire system to crash hang or exhibit arbitrary incorrect behavior In order to improve the reliability of systems drivers must be isolated limiting their ability to corrupt other parts of the system 18 Furthermore the system must be able to detect erroneous driver behavior and recover by restoring a working driver In current systems since a faulty driver can corrupt the entire system recovery is likely to require a complete system reboot as well as recovery of the application state For many applications such as most network services lengthy service interruption is unacceptable Yoshio



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