Back to overview

Experimental validation of the suitability of virtualization-based replication for fault tolerance in real-time control of electric grids

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Proceedings (peer-reviewed)
Author Kohroudi Seyed Alireza Sanaee, Mostafa Jalal, Mohiuddin Maaz, Saab Wajeb, Boudec Jean-Yves Le,
Project Integration of Intermittent Widespread Energy Sources in Distribution Networks: Scalable and Reliable Real Time Control of Power Flows
Show all

Proceedings (peer-reviewed)

Title of proceedings the 12th ACM/IEEE International Symposium
Place Oulu, Finland
DOI 10.1145/3239235

Open Access


Real-time control systems (RTCSs) perform complex control and require low response times. They typically use third-party software libraries and are deployed on generic hardware, which suffer from delay faults that can cause serious damage. To improve availability and latency, the controllers in RTCSs are replicated on physical nodes. As physical replication is expensive, we study the alternative of exploiting virtualization technology to run multiple virtual replicas on the same physical node. As virtual replicas share the same resources, the delay faults they experience might be correlated, which would make such a replication method unsuitable. We conduct several experiments with an RTCS for electric grids, with multiple virtual replicas of its controller. We find that although the delay of a virtual machine is higher than of a physical machine, the correlation between high delays among the virtual replicas is insignificant, causing an overall improved availability.We conclude that virtual replication is indeed applicable to certain RTCSs, as it can improve reliability without added cost.