Virtual machine scheduling in dedicated computing clusters

  • Time-critical applications process a continuous stream of input data and have to meet specific timing constraints. A common approach to ensure that such an application satisfies its constraints is over-provisioning: The application is deployed in a dedicated cluster environment with enough processing power to achieve the target performance for every specified data input rate. This approach comes with a drawback: At times of decreased data input rates, the cluster resources are not fully utilized. A typical use case is the HLT-Chain application that processes physics data at runtime of the ALICE experiment at CERN. From a perspective of cost and efficiency it is desirable to exploit temporarily unused cluster resources. Existing approaches aim for that goal by running additional applications. These approaches, however, a) lack in flexibility to dynamically grant the time-critical application the resources it needs, b) are insufficient for isolating the time-critical application from harmful side-effects introduced by additional applications or c) are not general because application-specific interfaces are used. In this thesis, a software framework is presented that allows to exploit unused resources in a dedicated cluster without harming a time-critical application. Additional applications are hosted in Virtual Machines (VMs) and unused cluster resources are allocated to these VMs at runtime. In order to avoid resource bottlenecks, the resource usage of VMs is dynamically modified according to the needs of the time-critical application. For this purpose, a number of previously not combined methods is used. On a global level, appropriate VM manipulations like hot migration, suspend/resume and start/stop are determined by an informed search heuristic and applied at runtime. Locally on cluster nodes, a feedback-controlled adaption of VM resource usage is carried out in a decentralized manner. The employment of this framework allows to increase a cluster’s usage by running additional applications, while at the same time preventing negative impact towards a time-critical application. This capability of the framework is shown for the HLT-Chain application: In an empirical evaluation the cluster CPU usage is increased from 49% to 79%, additional results are computed and no negative effect towards the HLT-Chain application are observed.

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Author:Stefan Boettger
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Referee:Udo KebschullGND, Roberto V. Zicari
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of Publication (online):2014/01/08
Year of first Publication:2012
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Granting Institution:Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Date of final exam:2013/11/14
Release Date:2013/12/02
Page Number:185
Institutes:Informatik und Mathematik / Informatik
Dewey Decimal Classification:0 Informatik, Informationswissenschaft, allgemeine Werke / 00 Informatik, Wissen, Systeme / 004 Datenverarbeitung; Informatik
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht