My colleague Borja Sotomayor’s Masters paper, A Resource Management Model for VM-Based Virtual Workspaces, is now available for download. Congratulations Borja!

This is a long but well organized paper that goes into detail about different resource management scenarios for VMs and grid computing. It includes discussion and experimental results of combining different scheduling techniques for VMs (including advanced reservation) and accurately dealing with overheads (this problem is introduced in Overhead Matters: A Model for Virtual Resource Management).

Abstract follows in quotes. I also recommend the two page introduction to get a better idea of what this is all about.

Virtual workspaces provide an abstraction for dynamically deployable execution environments on a Grid. For this abstraction to be effective, it must be possible to provide on-demand software environments and enforceable fine grained resource allocations for these workspaces. Virtual machines are a promising vehicle to realize the virtual workspace abstraction, as they allow us to instantiate a precisely defined virtual resource, configured with desired software configuration and hardware properties, on a set of physical resources.

In this paper, we describe a model of virtual machine provisioning in a Grid environment that allows us to define such virtual resources and instantiate them on a physical Grid infrastructure. Our model focuses, firstly, on providing users with an accurate representation of virtual resources. To accomplish this, the overhead resulting from instantiating and managing virtual resources is scheduled at the same level as virtual resources, instead of being deducted from a user’s resource allocation. Secondly, our model also focuses on efficiently managing virtual resources by reducing the amount of overhead.

We argue that this model, compared to resource management models that rely on the job abstraction for remote execution, enables resource providers to accurately provision resources to users, while using their physical resources efficiently. We show experimental results that demonstrate the benefits of this model both from the resource providers and the user’s perspective, in two common resource management scenarios for virtual workspaces: advance reservations and batch-style submissions.

For more relevant talks and papers from the group, see the Workspace publications page.