Long-term SLOs for reclaimed cloud computing resources


The elasticity promised by cloud computing does not come for free. Providers need to reserve resources to allow users to scale on demand, and cope with workload variations, which results in low utilization. The current response to this low utilization is to re-sell unused resources with no Service Level Objectives (SLOs) for availability. In this paper, we show how to make some of these reclaimable resources more valuable by providing strong, long-term availability SLOs for them. These SLOs are based on forecasts of how many resources will remain unused during multi-month periods, so users can do capacity planning for their long-running services. By using confidence levels for the predictions, we give service providers control over the risk of violating the availability SLOs, and allow them trade increased risk for more resources to make available. We evaluated our approach using 45 months of workload data from 6 production clusters at Google, and show that 6--17% of the resources can be re-offered with a long-term availability of 98.9% or better. A conservative analysis shows that doing so may increase the profitability of selling reclaimed resources by 22--60%.