Look Who's Talking: Discovering Dependencies Between Virtual Machines Using CPU Utilization

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Executive Summary

A common problem experienced in datacenters and utility clouds is the lack of knowledge about the mappings of the services being offered to or run by external users to the sets of Virtual Machines (VMs) realizing them. This makes it difficult to manage VM ensembles to attain provider goals like minimizing the resources consumed by certain services or reducing the power drawn by datacenter machines. This paper presents the 'Look Who's Talking' (LWT) set of methods and framework for identifying inter-VM dependencies. LWT does not require services to be modified, or middleware or operating systems to be instrumented, but instead, operates in management VMs with privileged access to hypervisor-level information about current machine use.

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