Flocking Virtual Machines in Quest for Responsive IoT Cloud Services

Sherif Abdelwahab, Bechir Hamdaoui

We propose Flock; a simple and scalable protocol that enables live migration of Virtual Machines (VMs) across heterogeneous edge and conventional cloud platforms to improve the responsiveness of cloud services. Flock is designed with properties that are suitable for the use cases of the Internet of Things (IoT). We describe the properties of regularized latency measurements that Flock can use for asynchronous and autonomous migration decisions. Such decisions allow communicating VMs to follow a flocking-like behavior that consists of three simple rules: separation, alignment, and cohesion. Using game theory, we derive analytical bounds on Flock's Price of Anarchy (PoA), and prove that flocking VMs converge to a Nash Equilibrium while settling in the best possible cloud platforms. We verify the effectiveness of Flock through simulations and discuss how its generic objective can simply be tweaked to achieve other objectives, such as cloud load balancing and energy consumption minimization.

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