Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Resource allocation

The paper, PRESS: PRedictive Elastic ReSource Scaling for cloud systems, describes a resource management scheme that uses continuous measurements of virtual machine resource usage to predict future requirements and then automatically adjusts the resources allocated to each virtual machine in order to satisfy predicted demand and meet service level objectives (SLOs).

The specific example described in the paper involves collecting virtual machine CPU usage measurements every minute from a cluster of Xen servers. Xen attracts innovation because the open source platform makes it easy for researchers to make modifications. In addition, Xen is the dominant cloud platform and so any improvements can quickly be adopted and have a large impact.

Support for the sFlow standard in the Xen Cloud Platform (XCP) provides the cloud-scale monitoring needed to support measurement based control schemes like PRESS in production environments. For a broader perspective, the Data center convergence, visibility and control presentation describes the critical role that measurement plays in managing costs and optimizing performance.

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