Effects of reducing VMs management times on elastic applications
Cloud infrastructures provide computing resources to applications in the form of Virtual Machines (VMs). Many applications deployed in cloud resources have an elastic behavior, that is, they change the number of servers (VMs) dynamically, adapting the application to the workload. Scaling-out and scaling-in operations are managed by an auto-scaler module, which can be reactive (adapting the number of VMs to the current workload) or proactive (adapting to the expected future workload). The cloud infrastructure provides a management interface to create (deploy) and destroy (shutdown) server instances, operations that require some time to complete. In this work we evaluate to what extent the reduction of the time required by VM management operations, namely deployment and shutdown, impacts the performance of applications and the behavior of reactive and proactive auto-scaling policies. After establishing several ideal boundaries on the use of resources, we carry out a set of experiments that show how short management times drastically reduce the use of resources, while allowing the application to operate within the required performance bounds.