Virtualization in the Private Cloud: State of the Practice

Robert Birke, Andrej Podzimek, Lydia Y. Chen, Evgenia Smirni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Virtualization has become a mainstream technology that allows efficient and safe resource sharing in data centers. In this paper, we present a large scale workload characterization study of 90K virtual machines hosted on 8K physical servers, across several geographically distributed corporate data centers of a major service provider. The study focuses on 19 days of operation and focuses on the state of the practice, i.e., how virtual machines are deployed across different physical resources with an emphasis on processors and memory, focusing on resource sharing and usage of physical resources, virtual machine life cycles, and migration patterns and their frequencies. This paper illustrates that indeed there is a huge tendency in over-provisioning CPU and memory resources while certain virtualization features (e.g., migration and collocation) are used rather conservatively, showing that there is significant room for the development of policies that aim to reduce operational costs in data centers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7547936
Pages (from-to)608-621
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Data centers
  • private cloud
  • virtualization
  • workload characterization


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