M-Channels and M-Brokers: New Abstractions for Co-ordinated Management in Virtualized Systems
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Management and automation are important issues in enterprise environments, often consuming the largest fraction of the overall IT budget. A key challenge here is co-ordination across multiple management solutions deployed in different management domains, including across hardware and software, across different levels of abstraction, and across different hosts. This paper makes three contributions to addressing this problem. First, we propose a novel management co-ordination architecture for virtualized environments. Our architecture includes two powerful abstractions – m-channels, which provide mechanisms for communication between the hardware, virtual machines, and applications and m-brokers, which allow high-level policy co-ordination across different management agents. Second, we discuss Dom-M, an instantiation of our architecture in the context of the Xen hypervisor, and identify tradeoffs between different implementations of such management domains. Finally, to demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach, we implement and evaluate different cross-level solutions for power management using our abstractions, and also discuss qualitatively other applications including storage backup, inventory management, and trust management.
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