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Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 21 Jun 2012

A constraints-based resource discovery model for multi-provider cloud environments


Increasingly infrastructure providers are supplying the cloud marketplace with storage and on-demand compute resources to host cloud applications. From an application user’s point of view, it is desirable to identify the most appropriate set of available resources on which to execute an application. Resource choice can be complex and may involve comparing available hardware specifications, operating systems, value-added services (such as network configuration or data replication) and operating costs (such as hosting cost and data throughput). Providers’ cost models often change and new commodity cost models (such as spot pricing) can offer significant savings. In this paper, a software abstraction layer is used to discover the most appropriate infrastructure resources for a given application, by applying a two-phase constraints-based approach to a multi-provider cloud environment. In the first phase, a set of possible infrastructure resources is identified for the application. In the second phase, a suitable heuristic is used to select the most appropriate resources from the initial set. For some applications a cost-based heuristic may be most appropriate; for others a performance-based heuristic may be of greater relevance. A financial services application and a high performance computing application are used to illustrate the execution of the proposed resource discovery mechanism. The experimental results show that the proposed model can dynamically select appropriate resouces for an application’s requirements.