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Virtualization technology make various kind of services more flexible to scale out and scale down whenever necessary which was difficult when physical computers were used as components of services. Operation of a virtual infrastructure requires flexible resource location and relocation mechanism treating virtual machines as one of the managed resources.

The technology to migrate CPU and memory resources are mature enough, and migration of network functions is now intensively researched. The final issue of resource migration is a storage resource migration.

We are working on a storage system "UKAI" which is applicable for a wide area datacenter operation to enable flexible location and relocation of virtual machines. By using UKAI, operators can control redundancy of a virtual disk and the location of the contents of the virtual disk as they intend.

Basic Idea

Each virtual machine has its virtual disk. In the UKAI system, a virtual disk is represented as a set of pointers to the real contents.

A virtual disk is divided into several logical blocks. The content of each block is stored in a separate storage node. By using multiple storage nodes, operators can increase of decrease redundancy level based on the required robustness.

The figure below depicts a sample configuration using three storage nodes and each block has two replicated contents.

Storage Migration

When a virtual machine migrates to another hypervisor, the access to its storage contents may become slower based on the location of the new hypervisor.

In the UKAI system, an operator can migrate a virtual disk by creating a new copy of the disk near the new hypervisor and removing the old contents.

Code Availability

UKAI is published as open source software and available at http://github.com/keiichishima/ukai/.

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