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Exploiting Process Lifetime Distributions for Dynamic Load Balancing

Authors:
Harchol-Balter, Mor
Downey, Allen B.
Technical Report Identifier: CSD-95-887
November 1995
CSD-95-887.pdf
CSD-95-887.ps

Abstract: We measure the distribution of lifetimes for UNIX processes and propose a functional form that fits this distribution well. We use this functional form to derive a policy for preemptive migration, and then use a trace-driven simulator to compare our proposed policy with other preemptive migration policies, and with a non-preemptive load-balancing strategy. We find that, contrary to previous reports, the performance benefits of preemptive migration are significantly greater than those of non-preemptive migration, even when the memory-transfer cost is high. Using a model of migration costs representative of current systems, we find that preemptive migration reduces the mean delay (queueing and migration) by 35% - 50%, compared to non-preemptive migration.