Researchers predict advent of Resource-as-a-Service Clouds

These Clouds will allow customers to rent individual compute resources by the second, not the hour

Today's Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Cloud platforms allow customers to rent virtualised servers and storage on demand, typically by the hour. But in the future, such services could be sold in a much more efficient and granular manner, with specific resources, such as CPU cycles and memory, rented for just a few seconds, according to new research.

This cloud model has been dubbed Resource-as-a-Service (RaaS) by Technion-Israel Institute of Technology researchers Orna Agmon Ben-Yehuda, Muli Ben-Yehuda, Assaf Schuster and Dan Tsafrir, who wrote a position paper on the topic that will be presented at next week's USENIX HotCloud '12 conference in Boston.

The concept of owning computing resources has gradually been worn down over time, they write in the paper. "Before cloud computing, the average useful lifetime of a purchased server was approximately three years. With the advent of web-hosting, clients could rent a server on a monthly basis," they said. The subsequent rise of services like Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) drove the equation down to hours.

But the hourly-rental model won't be sufficient as the cloud market matures, the researchers argue.

"If you pay for a full hour or any part of it, you will waste half an hour on average over the lifetime of every virtual machine," the paper states. "If you only pay for a full second or any part of it, then you will only waste half a second over the lifetime of every virtual machine."

Some cloud providers have already begun selling sub-hour chunks, the researchers note, and other IaaS conventions, namely fixed bundles of compute power, memory and networking resources, are "starting to unravel," the paper adds.

"Amazon already allows clients to add and remove different 'network instances' and 'block instances' from running virtual machines, thereby dynamically increasing or decreasing the I/O-resources available to a virtual machine," it states. "CloudSigma offers clients the ability to compose a flexible bundle from varying amounts of resources, similar to building a custom-made server out of different mixtures of resources such as CPUs, memory, and I/O devices."

But overall, "renting a fixed combination of cloud resources cannot and does not reflect the interests of clients," the paper adds.

In a RaaS cloud, customers would purchase "seed virtual machines" containing a baseline of resources as well as an "economic agent" for adding additional capacity, according to the paper. The agent will "will make decisions based on the current prices of those resources, the changing load the machine should handle, and the client's subjective valuation of those different resources at different points in time."

Cloud service providers' software would also incorporate economic agents to represent their own interests. Customers' agents could also negotiate with those controlled by other customers, who may have extra resource to sell.

Pricing for various resource types would be market-driven according to supply and demand. This notion could also be applied to SLAs (service level agreements), the researchers state: "When supply is insufficient for serving all clients, the provider can starve clients with lower-priority SLAs (e.g., only 90% availability) by raising the price of resources."

Making the RaaS cloud concept a reality will require new types of applications and system software, the researchers state. "In the RaaS cloud, virtual machines never know the precise amount of resources that will be available to them at any given second," they said. "That requires software running in those virtual machines to adapt to changing resource availability and exploit whatever resources the software has, when it has them."

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?