Online Internet applications see dynamic workloads that fluctuate over multiple time scales. This paper argues that the non-stationarity in Internet application workloads, which causes the request mix to change over time, can have a significant impact on the overall processing demands imposed on data center servers. We propose a novel mix-aware dynamic provisioning technique that handles both the non-stationarity in the workload as well as changes in request volumes when allocating server capacity in Internet data centers. Our technique employs the k-means clustering algorithm to automatically determine the workload mix and a queuing model to predict the server capacity for a given workload mix. We implement a prototype provisioning system that incorporates our technique and experimentally evaluate its efficacy on a laboratory Linux data center running the TPC-W web benchmark. Our results show that our k-means clustering technique accurately captures workload mix changes in Internet applications. We also demonstrate that mix-aware dynamic provisioning eliminates SLA violations due to under-provisioning with non-stationary web workloads, and that it offers a better resource usage by reducing over-provisioning when compared to a baseline provisioning approach that only reacts to workload volume changes. We also present a case study of our provisioning approach on Amazon’s EC2 cloud platform. 1
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