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With the intense competition between cloud providers, oversubscription is increasingly important to maintain profitability. Oversubscribing physical resources is not without consequences: it increases the likelihood of overload. Memory overload is particularly damaging. Contrary to traditional views, the authors analyze current data center logs and realistic Web workloads to show that overload is largely transient: up to 88.1% of overloads last for less than 2 minutes. Regarding overload as a continuum that includes both transient and sustained overloads of various durations points one to consider mitigation approaches also as a continuum, complete with tradeoffs with respect to application performance and data center overhead.
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