Infoscience

Journal article

Integrating Heuristic and Machine-Learning Methods for Efficient Virtual Machine Allocation in Data Centers

Modern cloud data centers (DCs) need to tackle efficiently the increasing demand for computing resources and address the energy efficiency challenge. Therefore, it is essential to develop resource provisioning policies that are aware of virtual machine (VM) characteristics, such as CPU utilization and data communication, and applicable in dynamic scenarios. Traditional approaches fall short in terms of flexibility and applicability for large-scale DC scenarios. In this paper we propose a heuristic- and a machine learning (ML)-based VM allocation method and compare them in terms of energy, quality of service (QoS), network traffic, migrations, and scalability for various DC scenarios. Then, we present a novel hyper-heuristic algorithm that exploits the benefits of both methods by dynamically finding the best algorithm, according to a user-defined metric. For optimality assessment, we formulate an integer linear programming (ILP)-based VM allocation method to minimize energy consumption and data communication, which obtains optimal results, but is impractical at runtime. Our results demonstrate that the ML approach provides up to 24% server-to-server network traffic improvement and reduces execution time by up to 480x compared to conventional approaches, for large-scale scenarios. On the contrary, the heuristic outperforms the ML method in terms of energy and network traffic for reduced scenarios. We also show that the heuristic and ML approaches have up to 6% energy consumption overhead compared to ILP-based optimal solution. Our hyper-heuristic integrates the strengths of both the heuristic and the ML methods by selecting the best one during runtime.

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