Whitepaper: Capacity and Performance Overhead in Dynamic Resource Allocation to Virtual Containers

Pradeep Padala and several collegues from University of Michigan and HP Labs, published a very interesting 10-page paper about amount of overhead produced by resources re-allocation in a virtual infrastructure, comparing Xen and OpenVZ environments behaviour:

Today’s enterprise data centers are shifting towards a utility computing model where many business critical applications share a common pool of infrastructure resources that offer capacity on demand. Management of such a pool requires having a control system that can dynamically allocate resources to applications in real time. Although this is possible by use of virtualization technologies, capacity overhead or actuation delay may occur due to frequent re-scheduling in the virtualization layer.

This paper evaluates the overhead of a dynamic allocation scheme in both system capacity and application-level performance relative to static allocation.

We conducted experiments with virtual containers built using Xen and OpenVZ technologies for hosting both computational and transactional workloads. We present the results of the experiments as well as plausible explanations for them.

We also describe implications and guidelines for feedback controller design in a dynamic allocation system based on our observations.

Download the whole paper at source.

Authors maintain a website about adaptive control of resources in a virtualized infrastructure which is worth to visit for further updates.