A cost-effective strategy for Cloud system maintenance

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To guarantee the high availability of modern Cloud-based applications, service backup is commonly used to maintain the failed services. However, an ineffective maintenance strategy based on virtual machine (VM) backup will cause a high budget and low resource utilization. This paper proposes a cost-effective multi-VM maintenance strategy to mini- mize maintenance cost with limited backup VMs in the Cloud. Different from the single- system maintenance strategies that pursue local optima by considering only one system each time, the proposed strategy considers all the running systems simultaneously from a global perspective. We formalize the multi-system maintenance as a restless multi-armed bandit problem, propose the concept of Healthy Indices of VMs with Lagrangian relaxation and develop an index based policy for maintenance scheduling. Given the limited backup VMs, the experiment results show that the proposed cost-effective multi-VM maintenance strategy significantly outperforms single-system maintenance policies in terms of total maintenance cost and system availability.

Authors: Xinyi Li, Yong Qi, Pengfei Chen and Yang Fan of the Department of Computer Science and Technology, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province 710049, China
Published in the Computers and Electrical Engineering Journal 58 (2017) 176–189, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compeleceng.2016.09.009 0045-7906, 2016 Elsevier Ltd

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I am full professor of Software Engineering at the University of Québec in Montréal, in its Software Engineering faculty. I have more than 30 years of Helthcare, Finance/Banking and Telecommunications IT industry experience, especially in Cloud Computing, Big Data, software acquisition, contracts, software quality assurance and business process management. I am more comfortable with open source, practical applications and technology transfer to industry.
Currently I concentrate on research projects. In the past I was the recipient of the ISO award for higher education in standardization in 2011, as well as the chair of the Software Engineering gratuate program and of the Software Engineering departement. I also published Software Engineering Books: Software Maintenance Improvement and Software Quality Assurance.