Technical Reports

The ICICS/CS Reading Room

UBC CS TR-96-04 Summary

Heterogeneous Process Migration: The Tui System, February 1996 Peter Smith and Norman C. Hutchinson, 32 pages

Heterogeneous Process Migration is a technique whereby an active process is moved from one machine to another. It must then continue normal execution and communication. The source and destination processors can have a different architecture, that is, different instruction sets and data formats. Because of this heterogeneity, the entire process memory image must be translated during the migration.

"Tui" is a prototype migration system that is able to translate the memory image of a program (written in ANSI-C) between four common architectures (m68000, SPARC, i486 and PowerPC). This requires detailed knowledge of all data types and variables used with the program. This is not always possible in non type-safe (but popular) languages such as C, Pascal and Fortran.

The important features of the Tui algorithm are discussed in great detail. This includes the method by which a program's entire set of data values can be located, and eventually reconstructed on the target processor. Initial performance figures demonstrating the viability of using Tui for real migration applications are given.

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