a first look at problems in the cloud

a first look at problems in the cloud - A First Look at...

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A First Look at Problems in the Cloud Theophilus Benson , Sambit Sahu , Aditya Akella , and Anees Shaikh University of Wisconsin - Madison, IBM Research Abstract Cloud computing provides a revolutionary model for the deployment of enterprise applications and Web services alike. In this new model, cloud users save on the cost of purchasing and managing base infrastructure, while the cloud providers save on the cost of maintaining underuti- lized CPU, memory, and network resources. In migrating to this new model, users face a variety of issues. Com- mercial clouds provide several support models to aide users in resolving the reported issues This paper arises from our quest to understand how to design IaaS support models for more efficient user trou- bleshooting. Using a data driven approach, we start our exploration into this issue with an investigation into the problems encountered by users and the methods utilized by the cloud support’s staff to resolve these problems. We examine message threads appearing in the forum of a large IaaS provider over a 3 year period. We argue that the lessons derived from this study point to a set of prin- ciples that future IaaS offerings can implement to pro- vide users with a more efficient support model. This data driven approach enables us to propose a set of principles that are pertinent to the experiences of users and that we believe could vastly improve the SLA observed by the users. 1 Introduction The emergence and growing popularity of cloud com- puting signals an evolution in the way IT infrastruc- ture and services are delivered and consumed. Clouds have a number of essential characteristics, such as self-service, on-demand consumption, location inde- pendence, and rapid elasticity. There are also evolv- ing cloud delivery models, including Infrastructure-as-a- Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service, and Software-as- a-Service, which provide IT infrastructure, application development services, and software applications from the cloud, respectively [6]. The IaaS delivery model provides users with the abil- ity to easily acquire and release infrastructure resources, such as servers, storage, and network bandwidth on- demand using simple Web-based tools with an accom- panying pricing model in which users pay for only what they use. The IaaS model of cloud computing is best ex- emplified in services such as Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) [1]. The high degree of virtualization and resource abstrac- tion afforded by IaaS clouds also comes with a new set of challenges in terms of users’ ability to efficiently di- agnose and resolve problems with their applications and virtual resources in the cloud. Compared to traditional IT models, cloud users have limited visibility into the underlying infrastructure. When users experience prob- lems, they have little alternative except trial-and-error troubleshooting or searching support forums for similar symptoms. These approaches may eventually be suc-
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This note was uploaded on 12/01/2011 for the course EE 5373 taught by Professor Chao during the Spring '11 term at NYU Poly.

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a first look at problems in the cloud - A First Look at...

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