Maintaining Network QoS Across NIC Device Driver Failures Using Virtualization

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Executive Summary

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.

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