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Internet data centers host multiple Web applications on shared hardware resources. These data centers are typically provisioned to meet the expected peak demands of the hosted applications based on normal time-of-day effects. Such an over-provisioning approach is not robust to flash crowd scenarios, where the load increase of some hosted applications is much higher than their expected peak loads. In such scenarios, data centers can utilize their resources better by employing dynamic resource allocation. In this paper, the authors present a prototype data center implementation that they use to study the effectiveness of dynamic resource allocation for handling flash crowds with different characteristics.
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