Optimizing virtual machine placement for energy and SLA in clouds using utility functions

Abdelkhalik Mosa, Norman W. Paton

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Cloud computing provides on-demand access to a shared pool of computing resources, which enables organizations to outsource their IT infrastructure. Cloud providers are building data centers to handle the continuous increase in cloud users’ demands. Consequently, these cloud data centers consume, and have the potential to waste, substantial amounts of energy. This energy consumption increases the operational cost and the CO2 emissions. The goal of this paper is to develop an optimized energy and SLA-aware virtual machine (VM) placement strategy that dynamically assigns VMs to Physical Machines (PMs) in cloud data centers. This placement strategy co-optimizes energy consumption and service level agreement (SLA) violations. The proposed solution adopts utility functions to formulate the VM placement problem. A genetic algorithm searches the possible VMs-to-PMs assignments with a view to finding an assignment that maximizes utility. Simulation results using CloudSim show that the proposed utility-based approach reduced the average energy consumption by approximately 6 % and the overall SLA violations by more than 38 %, using fewer VM migrations and PM shutdowns, compared to a well-known heuristics-based approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
JournalJournal of Cloud Computing
Issue number1
Early online date24 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Cloud computing
  • Cloud resource management
  • Energy-aware
  • Service level agreement (SLA)
  • Utility functions
  • Virtual machine placement


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