Association for Computing Machinery
Infrastructure-as-a-system compute clouds such as Amazon's EC2 allow users to pay a at hourly rate to run their Virtual Machine (VM) on a server providing some combination of CPU access, storage, and network. But not all VM instances are created equal: distinct underlying hardware differences, contention, and other phenomena can result in vastly differing performance across supposedly equivalent instances. The result is striking variability in the resources received for the same price. The authors initiate the study of customer-controlled placement gaming: strategies by which customers exploit performance heterogeneity to lower their costs.