To Reserve or Not to Reserve: Optimal Online Multi-Instance Acquisition in IaaS Clouds
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) clouds offer diverse instance purchasing options. A user can either run instances on demand or pay only for what it uses, or it can prepay to reserve instances for a long period, during which a usage discount is entitled. An important problem facing a user is how these two instance options can be dynamically combined to serve time-varying demands at minimum cost. Existing strategies in the literature, however, require either exact knowledge or the distribution of demands in the long-term future, which significantly limits their use in practice.