Using Ant Colony System to Consolidate VMs for Green Cloud Computing

High energy consumption of cloud data centers is a matter of great concern. Dynamic consolidation of Virtual Machines (VMs) presents a significant opportunity to save energy in data centers. A VM consolidation approach uses live migration of VMs so that some of the under-loaded Physical Machines (PMs) can be switched-off or put into a low-power mode. On the other hand, achieving the desired level of Quality of Service (QoS) between cloud providers and their users is critical. Therefore, the main challenge is to reduce energy consumption of data centers while satisfying QoS requirements.

In this paper, we present a distributed system architecture to perform dynamic VM consolidation to reduce energy consumption of cloud data centers while maintaining the desired QoS. Since the VM consolidation problem is strictly NP-hard, we use an online optimization metaheuristic algorithm called Ant Colony System (ACS). The proposed ACS-based VM Consolidation (ACSVMC) approach finds a near-optimal solution based on a specified objective function. Experimental results on real workload traces show that ACS-VMC reduces energy consumption while maintaining the required performance levels in a cloud data center. It outperforms existing VM consolidation approaches in terms of energy consumption, number of VM migrations, and QoS requirements concerning performance.

Fahimeh Farahnakian (University of Turku), Adnan Ashraf (Åbo University) Tapio Pahikkala (University of Turku), Pasi Liljeberg (University of Turku), Juha Plosila (University of Turku), Ivan Porres (Åbo University), and Hannu Tenhunen (University of Turku): Using Ant Colony System to Consolidate VMs for Green Cloud Computing

Published March-April 2015