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Resource Under-provision and Over-provision Problems of Traditional Computing

Traditional computing systems mostly follow static resource provisioning approach. But, it is

very difficult to correctly predict the future demand of any application (and hence the resource

requirement for the application) despite rigorous planning and efforts. This naturally results in

under-provision or over-provision of resources in traditional environment.

When demand for computing resources crosses the limit of available resources, then a

shortage of resource is created. This scenario is known as under-provision of resource. A simple

solution to this problem is to reserve sufficient volume of resources for an application so that

resource shortage can never happen. But this introduces a new problem. In such case, most

of the resources will remain unutilized for majority of time. This scenario is known as over

provision of the resources.

Under-provisioning problem occurs when the reserved resources are unable to fully meet the


Figure 8.9 shows the under-provision scenario. Here, the allotted and defined volume of resource

is represented by the dashed line. Under-provisioning problem occurs when resource demand

of application is higher than this allotted volume. Under-provisioning causes application

performance degradation.

The over-provisioning problem appears when the reserved volume of resource for an

application never falls below the estimated highest-required amount of resource for the

application considering the varying demand. In such case, since for most of the time, the


actual resource demand remains quite lesser than the reserved amount it ultimately turns into

un-utilization of valuable resource. This not only causes wastage of resource but also increases

the cost of computation. Figure 8.10 represents the scenario.

Resource over-provisioning problem occurs when the reserved resources remain unused for

most of the time.

Figures 8.9 and 8.10 exhibit the problem of the traditional fixed-size resource allocation

approach. It tends to increase cost or provides poor performance outcomes. In cloud computing,

the fine-tuned dynamic or hybrid resource provisioning approaches are used to deliver high

performance at low cost.

While over-provisioning wastes costly resources, under-provisioning degrades application

performance and causes business loss.

The static provisioning approach causes the trouble for vendors also. Vendors meet consumer’s

SLA requirements through resource over-provisioning in order to meet worst case demands.

However, since application demand remains low most of the time resource utilization rate

also remains low. This restricts the vendors to deliver services at lower cost. Cloud computing

addresses this issue by dynamic provisioning of resources using virtualization.

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