Rain or Shine? - Making Sense of Cloudy Reliability Data

Iyswarya Narayanan, Bikash Sharma, Di Wang, Sriram Govindan, Laura Caulfield, Anand Sivasubramaniam, Aman Kansal, Jie Liu, Badriddine Khessib, Kushagra Vaid

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Cloud datacenters must ensure high availability for the hosted applications and failures can be the bane of datacenter operators. Understanding the what, when and why of failures can help tremendously to mitigate their occurrence and impact. Failures can, however, depend on numerous spatial and temporal factors spanning hardware, workloads, support facilities, and even the environment. One has to rely on failure data from the field to quantify the influence of these factors on failures. Towards this goal, we collect failures data along with many parameters that might influence failures from two large production datacenters with very diverse characteristics. We show that multiple factors simultaneously affect failures, and these factors may interact in non-trivial ways. This makes conventional approaches that study aggregate characteristics or single parameter influences, rather inaccurate. Instead, we build a multi-factor analysis framework to systematically identify influencing factors, quantify their relative impact, and help in more accurate decision making for failure mitigation. We demonstrate this approach for three important decisions: spare capacity provisioning, comparing the reliability of hardware for vendor selection, and quantifying flexibility in datacenter climate control for cost-reliability trade-offs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - IEEE 37th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2017
EditorsKisung Lee, Ling Liu
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781538617915
StatePublished - Jul 13 2017
Event37th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2017 - Atlanta, United States
Duration: Jun 5 2017Jun 8 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems


Other37th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, ICDCS 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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