VM Scaling and Load Balancing via Cost Optimal MDP Solution

Mark Shifrin, Roy Mitrany, Erez Biton, Omer Gurewitz

Research output: Working paper/PreprintPreprint

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We address a cost optimization problem faced by a user who runs instances of applications in a remote cloud configuration constructed of multiple virtual machines (VMs). Each VM runs a single application instance which can execute tasks specific to that application. Managing the VMs involves a sophisticated trade-off between cloud-related demands, which are expressed by the provisional costs of leased cloud resources, and exogenous cost demands expressed by service revenues that are typically bound to SLAs. The internal costs may include VM deployment/termination cost, and VM lease cost. The exogenous costs refer to rewards accumulated due to the successfully accomplished tasks being run by each application instance. In the case where the SLA restricts performance to a certain load level at each VM, tasks incoming at VMs that reached that level are rejected. Rejections cause fines deducted against the rewards. The performance level is also quantified, namely, by means of a delay cost, according to the average delay experienced by tasks. Typical examples for specific applications which fall within this class of problems include handling of scientific worklflows and network functioning virtualization (NFV). We model this problem by cost-optimal load balancing to a queuing system with a flexible number of queues, where a queue (VM) can be deployed, can have a task directed to it and can be terminated. We analyze the system by Markov decision process (MDP) and numerically solve it to find the optimal policy, which captures the aforementioned costs and performance constraints. Within this constrained framework, we also investigate the impact of average VM deployment time. We show that the optimal policy possesses decision thresholds which depend on several parameters. We validate policies found by MDP, through directing an exogenous computational tasks flow to a set-up implemented on AWS.
Original languageEnglish GB
StatePublished - 21 Nov 2016

Publication series

NamearXiv preprint


  • cs.NI


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