Transparent Checkpoint-Restart for Hardware-Accelerated 3D Graphics

Samaneh Kazemi Nafchi, Rohan Garg, Gene Cooperman

Providing fault-tolerance for long-running GPU-intensive jobs requires application-specific solutions, and often involves saving the state of complex data structures spread among many graphics libraries. This work describes a mechanism for transparent GPU-independent checkpoint-restart of 3D graphics. The approach is based on a record-prune-replay paradigm: all OpenGL calls relevant to the graphics driver state are recorded; calls not relevant to the internal driver state as of the last graphics frame prior to checkpoint are discarded; and the remaining calls are replayed on restart. A previous approach for OpenGL 1.5, based on a shadow device driver, required more than 78,000 lines of OpenGL-specific code. In contrast, the new approach, based on record-prune-replay, is used to implement the same case in just 4,500 lines of code. The speed of this approach varies between 80 per cent and nearly 100 per cent of the speed of the native hardware acceleration for OpenGL 1.5, as measured when running the ioquake3 game under Linux. This approach has also been extended to demonstrate checkpointing of OpenGL 3.0 for the first time, with a demonstration for PyMol, for molecular visualization.

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