Business-driven short-term management of a hybrid IT infrastructure

Paulo Ditarso Maciel, Francisco Brasileiro*, Ricardo Araujo Santos, David Candeia, Raquel Lopes, Marcus Carvalho, Renato Miceli, Nazareno Andrade, Miranda Mowbray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


We consider the problem of managing a hybrid computing infrastructure whose processing elements are comprised of in-house dedicated machines, virtual machines acquired on-demand from a cloud computing provider through short-term reservation contracts, and virtual machines made available by the remote peers of a best-effort peer-to-peer (P2P) grid. Each of these resources has different cost basis and associated quality of service guarantees. The applications that run in this hybrid infrastructure are characterized by a utility function: the utility gained with the completion of an application depends on the time taken to execute it. We take a business-driven approach to manage this infrastructure, aiming at maximizing the profit yielded, that is, the utility produced as a result of the applications that are run minus the cost of the computing resources that are used to run them. We propose a heuristic to be used by a contract planner agent that establishes the contracts with the cloud computing provider to balance the cost of running an application and the utility that is obtained with its execution, with the goal of producing a high overall profit. Our analytical results show that the simple heuristic proposed achieves very high relative efficiency in the use of the hybrid infrastructure. We also demonstrate that the ability to estimate the grid behaviour is an important condition for making contracts that allow such relative efficiency values to be achieved. On the other hand, our simulation results with realistic error predictions show only a modest improvement in the profit achieved by the simple heuristic proposed, when compared to a heuristic that does not consider the grid when planning contracts, but uses it, and another that is completely oblivious to the existence of the grid. This calls for the development of more accurate predictors for the availability of P2P grids, and more elaborated heuristics that can better deal with the several sources of non-determinism present in this hybrid infrastructure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-119
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Parallel and Distributed Computing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


  • Business-driven IT management
  • Capacity planning
  • Cloud computing
  • Grid computing
  • Peer-to-peer
  • Short-term management


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