UCLOUD: Supporting Utility Computing in Cloud Services

Project Overview

The cloud computing model has opened up new possibilities for realization of the long-cherished goal of utility computing. Utility computing represents the desire to have IT acquired, delivered, used, paid for, and managed in a manner similar to the way we use other commoditized utilities. The principal appeal of utility computing lies in the systematized framework it could create for the interaction between providers and consumers of IT resources. In particular, utility computing should enable consumers to participate in active and informed ways in making resource procurement decisions in a transparent “market” of competing providers. Consumers of current cloud-based offerings have a limited view of and control over resource procurement and control, a significant hindrance in the realization of a utility.

The UCloud project is developing mechanisms and techniques that would reduce this gap, thereby helping turn cloud-based offerings of the near future into mature utilities. Our research has two key thrusts: (i) Cloud Economics: Does it make sense for an application to migrate to the cloud? If so, how should this migration be done (partial, complete, using multiple clouds, etc.)? What trade-offs between costs, efficiency, and effort are likely to arise? (ii) Cloud Consumer and Provider-end Resource Management: Our research will define, formulate, and solve fundamentally novel resource management problems—consumer-end metering, auditing, and dynamic mapping between virtual and physical resources—in cloud computing. It will result in novel utility-enabling facilities that will reduce the burden on application developers and system administrators wishing to outsource their IT needs to the cloud by easing and automating currently non-existent or inadequate decision-making related to resource procurement and modulation.


  • Anand Sivasubramaniam
  • Byung Chul Tak
  • Bhuvan Urgaonkar


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To Move or Not to Move: The Economics of Cloud Computing
Byung Chul Tak, Bhuvan Urgaonkar, and Anand Sivasubramaniam
In Proceedings of the USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Cloud Computing (HOTCLOUD 2011), Portland, OR. June 2011.
Technical Report CSE-TR-11-002, Dept. of CSE, The Pennsylvania State University, February 2011.
Paper   Tech. Report

Cloud Computing: A Digital Libraries Perspective
Pradeep Teregowda, Bhuvan Urgaonkar, C. Lee Giles
In Proceedings of the IEEE Third International Conference on Cloud Computing (CLOUD 2010), Miami, Florida. July 2010.
Paper  Tech. Report

CiteSeerX: A Cloud Perspective
Pradeep Teregowda, Bhuvan Urgaonkar, C. Lee Giles
In Proceedings of the Second USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Cloud Computing (HOTCLOUD 2010), Boston, MA. June 2010.
Paper  Tech. Report

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%]
Paper  Tech. Report


The National Science Foundation: CAREER award CNS-0953541.