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Case Study of an Automated Approach to Managing Collections of Autonomic Systems

Thomas J. Glazier, David Garlan and Bradley Schmerl.

In Proceedings of the 2020 IEEE Conference on Autonomic Computing and Self-organizing Systems (ACSOS), Washington, D.C., 19-23 August 2020. To appear.

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Many applications have taken advantage of cloud provided autonomic capabilities, commonly auto-scaling, to harness easily available compute capacity to maintain performance against defined quality objectives. This has caused the management complexity of enterprise applications to increase. It is now common for an application to be a collection of autonomic sub-systems. However, combining individual autonomic systems to create an application can lead to behaviors that negatively impact the global aggregate utility of the application and in some cases can be conflicting and self-destructive. Commonly, human administrators address these behaviors as part of a design time analysis of the situation or a run time mitigation of the undesired effects. However, the task of controlling and mitigating undesirable behaviors is complex and error prone. To handle the complexity of managing a collection of autonomic systems we have previously proposed an automated approach to the creation of a higher level autonomic management system, referred to as a Meta-Manager. In this paper, we improve upon prior work with a more streamlined and understandable formal representation of the approach, expand its capabilities to include global knowledge, and test its potential applicability and effectiveness by managing the complexity of a collection of autonomic systems in a case study of a major outage suffered by the Google Cloud Platform.

Keywords: Meta-management, Self-adaptation.  
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