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Virtual machine environments like VMware, XEN, KVM, and Hyper-V support live migration of guest operating systems, which is used in data centers to provide uninterrupted service during maintenance or to move computation away from failure-prone hosts. The duration of migration, as well as the virtual machine downtime during this process is essential when assessing if service availability agreements might be violated. The authors present the result of an experimental study that analyzed virtual machine live migration downtime and duration. They show that total migration time as well as downtime is dominated by specific memory utilization patterns inside the virtualized guest.
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