River: Resource Management in Virtualized Environments

Project Overview

The recent resurgence of research in server virtualization has created a lot of interest among providers of large-scale data centers in employing this technology to design improved solutions for managed hosting. Server virtualization replaces the traditional operating system with a software layer called the Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) that enables the simultaneous execution of multiple operating systems on a single physical server. Virtualization holds the promise of increased degrees of resource consolidation with accompanying reduction in operational costs of administration, repair, and electricity by allowing hitherto impossible or difficult to achieve co-location of heterogeneous operating systems, swift migration of application components across physical servers, and secure co-hosting of mutually un-trusting applications.
Examples of data centers adopting server virtualization can be seen in a variety of domains ranging from the hosting of Web and e-commerce applications to educational, research, and government organizations. Data centers now form an extremely competitive business with enormous investments in administrative personnel, revenues in the billions of dollars, and huge consumption of electricity. Consequently, the cost and efficiency benefits offered by virtualization have significant implications for: (i) the profits of data centers and hosted applications, (ii) the satisfaction and success of the organizations or private citizens they cater to, and (iii) the well-being of our environment. Designing efficient virtualized data centers is therefore a desirable and worthy endeavor in multiple ways.

The transition from traditional hosting models to a virtualized model is, however, not a trivial one. Realizing the consolidation-related benefits that virtualization has to offer requires a re-consideration of: (i) schedulers within the VMM, (ii) mechanisms for resource usage monitoring and accounting, and (iii) system-wide dynamic resource provisioning mechanisms. This project aims at identifying the key challenges that arise on all these fronts in a virtualized data center and developing a comprehensive solution to address them.


  • Sriram Govindan
  • Anand Sivasubramaniam
  • Byung Chul Tak
  • Bhuvan Urgaonkar


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vPath: Precise Discovery of Request Processing Paths from Black-Box Observations of Thread and Network Activities
Byung Chul Tak, Chunqiang Tang, Chun Zhang, Sriram Govindan, Bhuvan Urgaonkar, and Rong N. Chang
In Proceedings of the Thirty Fourth USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX’09), June 2009, San Diego, CA.
[32 accepted out of 191 submissions = 17%]

Xen and Co.: Communication-aware CPU Management in Consolidated Xen-based Hosting Platforms
Sriram Govindan, Jeonghwan Choi, Arjun R Nath, Amitayu Das, Bhuvan Urgaonkar, Anand Sivasubramaniam
IEEE Transactions on Computers (TC), Vol. 58, No. 8, pages 1111-1125.IEEE Transactions on Computers, 2009.

Xen and Co.: Communication-aware CPU Scheduling for Consolidated Xen-based Hosting Platforms
Sriram Govindan, Arjun R. Nath, Amitayu Das, Bhuvan Urgaonkar, and Anand Sivasubramaniam
In Proceedings of the Third International ACM SIGPLAN/SIGOPS Conference on Virtual Execution Environments (VEE), June 2007, San Diego, CA.
[19 accepted out of 70 submissions = 27%]
Also, Technical Report CSE-06-017, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, October 2006.
Abstract     Paper     Tech. Report


Xen and Co.: Communication-aware CPU Scheduling for Xen


The National Science Foundation: CNS-0720456.
Cisco, Inc.: Cisco Collaborative Research Initiative award, 2007.