Auction-based cloud service differentiation with service level objectives

Jianbing Ding, Zhenjie Zhang, T. B Ma Richard, Yin Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


The emergence of the cloud computing paradigm has greatly enabled innovative service models, such as Platform as a Service (PaaS), and distributed computing frameworks, such as MapReduce. However, most existing cloud systems fail to distinguish users with different preferences, or jobs of different natures. Consequently, they are unable to provide service differentiation, leading to inefficient allocations of cloud resources. Moreover, contentions on the resources exacerbate this inefficiency, when prioritizing crucial jobs is necessary, but impossible. Motivated by this, we propose Abacus, a generic resource management framework addressing this problem. Abacus interacts with users through an auction mechanism, which allows users to specify their priorities using budgets, and job characteristics via utility functions. Based on this information, Abacus computes the optimal allocation and scheduling of resources. Meanwhile, the auction mechanism in Abacus possesses important properties including incentive compatibility (i.e., the users' best strategy is to simply bid their true budgets and job utilities) and monotonicity (i.e., users are motivated to increase their budgets in order to receive better services). In addition, when the user is unclear about her utility function, Abacus automatically learns this function based on statistics of her previous jobs. Extensive experiments, running Hadoop on a private cluster and Amazon EC2, demonstrate the high performance and other desirable properties of Abacus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-249
Number of pages19
JournalComputer Networks
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Auction
  • Cloud computing
  • MapReduce
  • Service differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications

Cite this