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The network, similar to CPU and memory, is a critical and shared resource in the cloud. However, unlike other resources, it is neither shared proportionally to payment, nor do cloud providers offer minimum guarantees on network bandwidth. The reason networks are more difficult to share is because the network allocation of a Virtual Machine (VM) X depends not only on the VMs running on the same machine with X, but also on the other VMs that X communicates with and the cross-traffic on each link used by X. In this paper, the authors start from the above requirements - payment proportionality and minimum guarantees - and show that the network-specific challenges lead to fundamental tradeoffs when sharing cloud networks.
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