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Chapter 5. Load Balancing, Scheduling, and Migration

5.1. Load Balancing, Scheduling, and Migration

Individual hosts have finite hardware resources, and are susceptible to failure. To mitigate against failure and resource exhaustion, hosts are grouped into clusters, which are essentially a grouping of shared resources. A Red Hat Virtualization environment responds to changes in demand for host resources using load balancing policy, scheduling, and migration. The Manager is able to ensure that no single host in a cluster is responsible for all of the virtual machines in that cluster. Conversely, the Manager is able to recognize an underutilized host, and migrate all virtual machines off of it, allowing an administrator to shut down that host to save power.

Available resources are checked as a result of three events:

  • Virtual machine start - Resources are checked to determine on which host a virtual machine will start.
  • Virtual machine migration - Resources are checked in order to determine an appropriate target host.
  • Time elapses - Resources are checked at a regular interval to determine whether individual host load is in compliance with cluster load balancing policy.

The Manager responds to changes in available resources by using the load balancing policy for a cluster to schedule the migration of virtual machines from one host in a cluster to another. The relationship between load balancing policy, scheduling, and virtual machine migration are discussed in the following sections.