Technical Report MSC-2015-15

Title: The nom Profit-Maximizing Operating System
Authors: Muli Ben-Yehuda
Supervisors: Dan Tsafrir
PDFCurrently accessibly only within the Technion network
Abstract: In the near future, cloud providers will sell their users virtual machines with CPU, memory, network, and storage resources whose prices constantly change according to market-driven supply and demand conditions. Running traditional operating systems in these virtual machines is a poor fit: traditional operating systems are not aware of changing resource prices and their sole aim is to maximize performance with no consideration for costs. Consequently, they yield low profits.

We present nom, a profit-maximizing operating system designed for cloud computing platforms with dynamic resource prices. Applications running on nom aim to maximize their profits from their resources by optimizing for both performance and costs. The nom kernel provides them with direct access to the underlying hardware and full control over their private software stacks. Since nom applications know there is no single ``best'' software stack, they adapt their stacks' behavior on the fly according to the current price of available resources and their private valuations of them. We show that in addition to achieving up to 3.9x better throughput and up to 9.1x better latency, nom applications yield up to 11.1x higher profits when compared with the same applications running on Linux and OSv.

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