stdchk: A Checkpoint Storage System for Desktop Grid Computing

Titlestdchk: A Checkpoint Storage System for Desktop Grid Computing
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsAl-Kiswany, S., M. Ripeanu, S. S. Vazhkudai, and A. Gharaibeh
Conference NameDistributed Computing Systems, 2008. ICDCS '08. The 28th International Conference on
Pagination613 -624
Date Publishedjun.
Keywordscheckpoint storage system, checkpointing, data management, desktop grid computing, fault tolerance, grid computing, scavenged disk space, software fault tolerance, stdchk, storage management, traditional file system

Checkpointing is an indispensable technique to provide fault tolerance for long-running high-throughput applications like those running on desktop grids. This article argues that a checkpoint storage system, optimized to operate in these environments, can offer multiple benefits: reduce the load on a traditional file system, offer high-performance through specialization, and, finally, optimize data management by taking into account checkpoint application semantics. Such a storage system can present a unifying abstraction to checkpoint operations, while hiding the fact that there are no dedicated resources to store the checkpoint data. We prototype stdchk, a checkpoint storage system that uses scavenged disk space from participating desktops to build a low-cost storage system, offering a traditional file system interface for easy integration with applications. This article presents the stdchk architecture, key performance optimizations, and its support for incremental checkpointing and increased data availability. Our evaluation confirms that the stdchk approach is viable in a desktop grid setting and offers a low cost storage system with desirable performance characteristics: high write throughput as well as reduced storage space and network effort to save checkpoint images.


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