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Virtualization-based server consolidation is an important technique for cost and energy reductions in data center environments and a key enabler of cloud computing. However, to ensure adequate application isolation and performance, consolidation demands runtime resource reconfiguration, especially of multi-tier services that have dynamic, rapidly changing workloads and responsiveness requirements. While virtualization makes reconfiguration easy through capacity controls, VM replication and migration, their indiscriminate use has performance implications. In this paper, authors quantify the costs of Xen-based virtual machine adaptation and show that ignoring those costs can have significant impacts on the ability to satisfy response-time-based SLAs. They address this problem by developing a cost-sensitive adaptation engine that weighs the potential benefit of runtime reconfiguration decisions against their costs.
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