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Open AccessArticle

Container Migration in the Fog: A Performance Evaluation

DINFO, University of Florence, Via di S. Marta 3, 50139 Florence, Italy
Department of Information Engineering, University of Pisa, Largo Lucio Lazzarino 1, 56122 Pisa, Italy
Department of Engineering, University of Messina, Contrada di Dio, Sant’Agata, 98166 Messina, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in the IEEE 4th International Workshop on Sensors and Smart Cities (SSC), which was co-located with the IEEE 4th International Conference on Smart Computing (SMARTCOMP).
Sensors 2019, 19(7), 1488;
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 13 February 2019 / Accepted: 22 March 2019 / Published: 27 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Middleware Solutions for Wireless Internet of Things)
PDF [1361 KB, uploaded 27 March 2019]


The internet of things (IoT) is essential for the implementation of applications and services that require the ability to sense the surrounding environment through sensors and modify it through actuators. However, IoT devices usually have limited computing capabilities and hence are not always sufficient to directly host resource-intensive services. Fog computing, which extends and complements the cloud, can support the IoT with computing resources and services that are deployed close to where data are sensed and actions need to be performed. Virtualisation is an essential feature in the cloud as in the fog, and containers have been recently getting much popularity to encapsulate fog services. Besides, container migration among fog nodes may enable several emerging use cases in different IoT domains (e.g., smart transportation, smart industry). In this paper, we first report container migration use cases in the fog and discuss containerisation. We then provide a comprehensive overview of the state-of-the-art migration techniques for containers, i.e., cold, pre-copy, post-copy, and hybrid migrations. The main contribution of this work is the extensive performance evaluation of these techniques that we conducted over a real fog computing testbed. The obtained results shed light on container migration within fog computing environments by clarifying, in general, which migration technique might be the most appropriate under certain network and service conditions. View Full-Text
Keywords: fog computing; internet of things; mobility; container; migration; CRIU; pre-copy; post-copy fog computing; internet of things; mobility; container; migration; CRIU; pre-copy; post-copy

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Puliafito, C.; Vallati, C.; Mingozzi, E.; Merlino, G.; Longo, F.; Puliafito, A. Container Migration in the Fog: A Performance Evaluation. Sensors 2019, 19, 1488.

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