Tableau: a high-throughput and predictable VM scheduler for high-density workloads

EuroSys '18: Thirteenth EuroSys Conference 2018 Porto Portugal April, 2018(2018)

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In the increasingly competitive public-cloud marketplace, improving the efficiency of data centers is a major concern. One way to improve efficiency is to consolidate as many VMs onto as few physical cores as possible, provided that performance expectations are not violated. However, as a prerequisite for increased VM densities, the hypervisor's VM scheduler must allocate processor time efficiently and in a timely fashion. As we show in this paper, contemporary VM schedulers leave substantial room for improvements in both regards when facing challenging high-VM-density workloads that frequently trigger the VM scheduler. As root causes, we identify (i) high runtime overheads and (ii) unpredictable scheduling heuristics. To better support high VM densities, we propose Tableau, a VM scheduler that guarantees a minimum processor share and a maximum bound on scheduling delay for every VM in the system. Tableau combines a low-overhead, core-local, table-driven dispatcher with a fast on-demand table-generation procedure (triggered on VM creation/teardown) that employs scheduling techniques typically used in hard real-time systems. In an evaluation of Tableau and three current Xen schedulers on a 16-core Intel Xeon machine, Tableau is shown to improve tail latency (e.g., a 17X reduction in maximum ping latency compared to Credit) and throughput (e.g., 1.6X peak web server throughput compared to RTDS when serving 1 KiB files with a 100 ms SLA).
Virtualization,Hypervisor Scheduling,Real-Time Scheduling
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