[clug] Idle thought: can I migrate processes from a high-power to a low-power system?

steve jenkin sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au
Tue Mar 5 22:52:52 MST 2013

Last night I started downloading the latest Debian ISO images in
preparation for an install on a new Desktop PC.

As I left 'wget' running, I thought "geez, I'd like to be able to put my
PC to sleep and move this transfer to something low-power, like a
Raspberry Pi."

If I was running the right sort of VM system, I could migrate any
running VM from one Intel processor to another compatible processor.

That assumes the target long-running process is the only one running in
that VM.

And that there is a common filestore shared by the hypervisor on both
host systems, or there's a fast migration possible of open files from
local storage on one to another. [I had 4.4GB ISO's]

The obvious "drop-dead" was the two different architectures, x86 and
ARM. 'emu' does emulate multiple architectures, I'm not sure how well.

So in my scenario, if I'd started my wget in a VM under 'emu' emulating
ARM on x86, I may have been able to migrate the task+VM to a Raspberry
PI, if I had one [and it supported VM's & migration].

The other solution is to migrate VM's from like-to-like architecture,
but the usual problem is that low-power x86 (eg Atom) don't have the
higher-level VT-x instructions often required by hypervisors...

My question:

 - Does anyone (routinely) *do* live-migration of long-running tasks,
especially from hi-spec to low-spec x86 architectures?

 - Across different architectures?

 - OR, has anyone seen a paper or something being developed that leads
in this direction?

It'll be 6 months or more before I get to look at this question for
real. Had the thought and wanted to get any feedback so I can start
researching it over the next few months.

There may be something simple I can do in my initial setup that will
provide this pathway. If so, now is the best time for me to do that.

Thanks in advance.


PS: I bought a 250Gb Samsung 840 SSD [not the Pro] today from MSY @
They redefine the concept of 'customer service', but gotta love their

Thanks for all the feedback/suggestions/input on- and off-list.

Steve Jenkin, Info Tech, Systems and Design Specialist.
0412 786 915 (+61 412 786 915)
PO Box 48, Kippax ACT 2615, AUSTRALIA

sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au http://members.tip.net.au/~sjenkin

More information about the linux mailing list