Cloud Control

Researchers: Karl-Erik Årzén, Anders Robertsson, Anton Cervin, Anders RantzerMartina Maggio, Jonas Dürango, Manfred Dellkrantz in collaboration with Maria Kihl's group at the Department of Electrical and Information Technology, Lund University and Erik Elmroth's (project leader) group at Umeå University.

Funding: VR (Framework Grant)

Duration: 2013 - 2016

We take a control theoretic approach to a range of cloud management problems, aiming to transform today's static and energy consuming cloud data centers into self-managed, dynamic, and dependable infrastructures, constantly delivering expected quality of service with acceptable operation costs and carbon footprint for large-scale services with varying capacity demands. Such data centers will form the backbone of the digitalized society by providing unparalleled information storage and processing capabilities.

Today’s explosive growth of the Internet and mobile connectivity hints at a digitized society where information is created, stored, processed, and distributed at a previously unparalleled rate, already today including, e.g., multimedia services as online TV and music, social networks, scientific applications, and business services such as e-commerce, online banking, enterprise applications, etc. Whereas the Internet is becoming ubiquitous and provides reasonably mature communication abilities, significant advancements are required to create the future cloud data centers that will form a backbone for information processing and storage, and thus be a key enabler of the digitized society.

However, with a continued extreme growth in capacity demands, today’s cloud data center infrastructures are literally jeopardizing the continued development of the digitized society by simply being too static, providing too low Quality-of-Service (QoS), and by consuming ridiculous amounts of energy. Today’s data center infrastructures are not even near being able to cope with the enormous and rapidly varying capacity demands that will be reality in a near future. So far, very little is understood about how to transform today’s data centers (being large, power-hungry facilities, and operated through heroic efforts by numerous administrators) into a self-managed, dynamic, and dependable infrastructure, constantly delivering expected QoS with reasonable operation costs and acceptable carbon footprint for large-scale services with sometimes dramatic variations in capacity demands.

To meet these challenges, the project addresses a set of fundamental and inter-twined auto-management challenges assuming that there during execution are stochastic variations in capacity needs and resource availability, as well as changes in system response and operation costs (in monetary and energy terms). The challenges include how much capacity to allocate at any time for an elastic application, where to allocate that capacity including optimizing complete data center energy efficiency, if to admit an elastic service with unknown lifetime and future capacity demands, as well as how holistic management can be performed to optimize the various management tools’ concerted actions.

This cross-disciplinary project builds on a collaboration between Umeå University and Lund University with complementing expertise on cloud management and control of computing systems. The collaboration addresses fundamental algorithmic challenges that in industrial collaborations have been identified as crucial.

The project is funded by a 20 million SEK framework grant from the Swedish research council (VR).