Fine-Grained I/O Traffic Control Middleware for I/O Fairness in Virtualized System

Jaehak Lee, Hwamin Lee, Heonchang Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development of IT technology in the 21st century has created a new paradigm for real-time, data-intensive user services, such as connected cars, smart factories, and remote health care services. The considerable computational resources required by these services are rendering the cloud increasingly more important. In the cloud server, user services are forced to share physical resources because of the emerging resource competition, thus introducing various types of unpredictable workloads. The core technology of the cloud is a virtualized system, which isolates and shares the powerful physical resources of the server in the form of a virtual machine (VM) to increase resource efficiency. However, the scheduling policy of a virtual CPU (vCPU), which is a logical CPU of a VM, generally schedules the vCPU based on the degree of occupation of the physical CPU (pCPU) without regarding I/O strength; so it brings the unfair I/O performance among VMs in the virtualized systems. The user services performing on the VM are not aware of the user-contention architectures, which sharing of I/O devices, in the virtualized systems; Furthermore, the current virtualized system simply adopts the Linux-based I/O processing process which optimized for user-contention-free architectures. Therefore, the architecture that brings the unfair usage of I/O devices among user services is hardly regarded and has low awareness in current virtualized systems. To overcome this problem, in this study, I-Balancer is presented to provide fair I/O performance among I/O-intensive user services by applying an asynchronous inter-communication control technique for the virtualized system with a high VM density. The main design goal of I-Balancer is to increase the awareness of user-contention architectures in the hypervisor. I-Balancer derives the fine-grained workload and I/O strength for each vCPU during the scheduler and event channel areas. Subsequently, to strengthen fair I/O performance, an I/O traffic control mechanism is implemented to control the inter-domain communication traffic according to the I/O strength of the VMs. Experiments were performed on the fairness of I/O(disk and network) performance on virtualized systems with Xen 4.12 hypervisor adopted based on various performance metrics. The experimental results showed that the virtualization system to which I-Balancer is applied reduces the network and disk I/O performance standard deviation among VMs by up to 71% and 61% respectively compared to the existing virtualization system; and, performance interference and overhead are also confirmed to be negligible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73122-73144
Number of pages23
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 IEEE.


  • Cloud computing
  • Xen
  • disk I/O
  • fairness
  • hypervisor
  • middleware
  • network I/O
  • resource management
  • system communication
  • traffic control
  • virtualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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