Making Neighbors Quiet: An Approach to Detect Virtual Resource Contention

Joel Vallone, Robert Birke, Lydia Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


It is imperative for public cloud providers to guarantee performance targets for tenants' virtual machine (VM) while respecting strict business confidentiality, e.g., having no information on applications nor their performance. A large body of related work addresses the challenges of detecting performance interferences by leveraging client's quality of service (QoS) metrics, e.g., latency, and additional profiling servers. In this paper, we take the perspective of cloud provider and propose a general black-box approach that detects different resource contention by throttling neighboring VMs. Specifically, we design a three-phase detection algorithm, termed ACTor : (i)an alarm phase to identify statistical outliers via using control charts; (ii) a passive clustering phase to match the current sample to historical behaviors; and (iii) an active throttling phase to discern contentions from application phase changes via throttling. ACTor is specifically designed for scenarios where multiple co-located VMs request detection analysis simultaneously. We implement and evaluate the proposed ACTor on four latency sensitive applications, i.e., Wikimedia and three benchmarks from Cloudsuite. Our extensive experimental results show that we can reach an average detection accuracy above 90% while limiting the performance degradation experienced by offender workloads to short learning phases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Services Computing
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • cloud
  • contention detection
  • QoS


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