Exploiting Service Usage Information for Optimizing Server Resource Management
Candidate: Alexander Totok
Advisor: Vijay Karamcheti


It is difficult to provision and manage modern component-based Internet services so that they provide stable quality-of-service (QoS) guarantees to their clients, because: (1) component middleware are complex software systems that expose several independently tuned configurable application runtime policies and server resource management mechanisms; (2) session-oriented client behavior with complex data access patterns makes it hard to predict what impact tuning these policies and mechanisms has on application behavior; (3) component-based Internet services exhibit complex structural organization with requests of different types accessing different components and data sources, which could be distributed and/or replicated for failover, performance, or business purposes.

This dissertation attempts to alleviate this situation by targeting three interconnected goals: (1) providing improved QoS guarantees to the service clients, (2) optimizing server resource utilization, and (3) providing application developers with guidelines for natural application structuring, which enable efficient use of the proposed mechanisms for improving service performance. Specifically, we explore the thesis that exposing and using detailed information about how clients use component-based Internet services enables mechanisms that achieve the range of goals listed above. To validate this thesis we show its applicability to the following four problems: (1) maximizing reward brought by Internet services, (2) optimizing utilization of server resource pools, (3) providing session data integrity guarantees, and (4) enabling service distribution in wide-area environments.

The techniques that we propose for the identified problems are applicable at both the application structuring stage and the application operation stage, and range from automatic (i.e., performed by middleware in real time) to manual (i.e., involve the programmer, or the service provider). These techniques take into account service usage information exposed at different levels, ranging from high-level structure of user sessions to low level information about data access patterns and resource utilization by requests of different types. To show the benefits of the proposed techniques, we implement various middleware mechanisms in the JBoss application server, which utilizes the J2EE component model, and comprehensively evaluate them on several publicly-available sample J2EE applications - Java Pet Store, RUBiS, and our own implementation of the TPC-W web transactional benchmark. Our experimental results show that the proposed techniques achieve optimal utilization of server resources and improve application performance by up to two times for centralized Internet services and by up to 6 times for distributed ones.