Fixed and Market Pricing for Cloud Services

Vineet Abhishek, Ian A. Kash, Peter Key

We study a model of congestible resources, where pricing and scheduling are intertwined. Motivated by the problem of pricing cloud instances, we model a cloud computing service as linked $GI/GI/\cdot$ queuing systems where the provider chooses to offer a fixed pricing service, a dynamic market based service, or a hybrid of both, where jobs can be preempted in the market-based service. Users (jobs), who are heterogeneous in both the value they place on service and their cost for waiting, then choose between the services offered. Combining insights from auction theory with queuing theory we are able to characterize user equilibrium behavior, and show its insensitivity to the precise market design mechanism used. We then provide theoretical and simulation based evidence suggesting that a fixed price typically, though not always, generates a higher expected revenue than the hybrid system for the provider.

Knowledge Graph

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