Computer Science Colloquium
Time+Place : Thursday 30/12/2010 14:30 room 337-8 Taub  Bld.
Speaker    : Ishai Menache
Affiliation: Microsoft Research New England
Host       : Johann Makowsky
Title      : Efficient cloud operations via job-migration and pricing
Abstract   :
Cloud computing technology offers on-demand network access to shared pools
of configurable computing resources, such as virtual servers, applications
and software services. This paradigm delivers the economy of scale to users
via large datacenters, fast and flexible provisioning of resources, and the
freedom from long-term investments in equipment. Despite the potential
advantages, a new set of challenges must be overcome before cloud providers
can see a return on their investments; namely, dealing with the uncertainty
involved in operating cloud systems, both in terms of supply (time-varying
energy prices and availability) and demand for computing resources.
One way to reduce operation costs is by exploiting the spatiotemporal
variation of electricity prices. I start by showing how techniques from
online algorithms can be employed to develop algorithms that move
computation to datacenters in which energy is available at a cheaper price.
The algorithm we design performs remarkably well on empirical
electricity-prices and job-demand data. In the second part of the talk, I
develop a general queuing-based model for the study of cloud computing
economics, incorporating stochastic demands and diversity in the application
types and user preferences. Despite the high level of heterogeneity, I show
that a simple per-unit price (currently employed by most cloud platforms)
suffices to induce social efficiency. I will conclude with a discussion of
ongoing work on combining energy-aware scheduling and pricing for optimizing
Short Bio:
Ishai Menache received his PhD in Electrical Engineering at the Technion,
Israel Institute of Technology. Until recently, he was a postdoctoral
associate at the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems in MIT. He
is now a visiting researcher at Microsoft Research New England. His current
research focuses on Cloud Computing, with emphasis on pricing and resource
allocation aspects. More broadly, Ishai's areas of interest include
communication networks, game theory and machine learning. He is a recipient
of the Marie Curie Outgoing International Fellowship.
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