Trade-Off Analysis of Elasticity Approaches for Cloud-Based Business Applications

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Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers, such as Amazon Web Services, offer on-demand access to computing resources at pay-as-you-go prices. The key benefit of IaaS is elasticity, i.e., the ability to provision and de-provision resources at will. This feature makes IaaS infrastructure as the best platform for hosting web applications, e.g. e-business, that are subjected to highly-variable request patterns. However, elasticity can be triggered either on the basis of resource utilization or for meeting service level objectives (SLOs). In this paper, we extensively evaluate these two types of elasticity rules using the TPC-W benchmark on Amazon IaaS infrastructure. From this experimental data, we evaluate the performance of these rules against the primary metric of service level satisfaction for web applications, and secondary metrics such as resource utilization and cost. Through our inferences, we present a number of recommendations that would enable practitioners and cloud consumers using Amazon to define appropriate elasticity rules to meet their SLOs and other metrics.