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Resource Pooling in Cloud Computing - Architecture and Approaches

Resource Pooling in Cloud Computing - Architecture and Approaches

In this blog, we’ll unravel the technical intricacies, explore practical applications, and reveal the manifold benefits of resource pooling. Whether you know a lot about IT or are new, this exploration of cloud computing will give you the information and understanding to use it effectively. So, let’s dive in and discover resource pooling in the cloud.

Table of Contents

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What is Resource Pooling in Cloud Computing?

What is Resource Pooling in Cloud Computing?

A resource pool is a collection of resources that are accessible for assignment to users. These resources, such as computational, networking, and storage resources, consolidate to establish a consistent framework for resource consumption and presentation. Within cloud data centers, a substantial inventory of physical resources is maintained and presented to users through virtual services. 

Resources from this pool can be designated to support an individual user or application or, alternatively, shared among multiple users or applications. Instead of permanently allocating resources to users, they are dynamically provisioned as needed. This adaptive approach optimizes resource utilization in response to varying loads and demands over time.

To establish resource pools, providers must establish strategies for categorizing and managing resources. Consumers are typically unaware of the specific physical resource locations, relinquishing control in this regard. Some service providers, particularly those with an extensive global presence comprising multiple data centers, may offer users the option to select a geographic location at a higher abstraction level, such as a region or country, from which to access resources.

Cloud Resource Pooling Architecture

By grouping multiple identical resources, such as storage pools, network pools, and server pools, we create resource pools. A resource pooling architecture is subsequently formed by integrating these resource pools. An automated system must be built to guarantee the effective use and synchronization of these pools.

Computational resources are primarily categorized into three groups: Servers, Storage, and Networks. As a result, a data center maintains an ample supply of physical resources from all three categories. Thus, all types of resources – compute, network, or storage, can be pooled.

Server Pool

Server Pool

Server pools consist of multiple physical servers that are installed with an operating system, networking capabilities, and essential software installations. Virtual machines are subsequently set up on these servers, and they are grouped together to form virtual server pools. Customers can choose virtual machine configurations from templates provided by the cloud service provider when provisioning resources.

Furthermore, dedicated processors and memory pools are created by gathering processors and memory devices. These pools are managed separately. These processor and memory components, drawn from their respective pools, can then be associated with virtual servers as needed to meet increased capacity demands. On the other hand, when the virtual servers are less busy, they can go back to the cloud resource pool.

Storage Pool

Storage Pool

Storage resources constitute a fundamental component essential for enhancing performance, managing data, and ensuring data protection. These resources are regularly accessed by users and applications to fulfill various needs, such as accommodating growing data requirements, maintaining backups, and facilitating data migrations, among others.

Storage pools are constructed from different types of storage, including file-based, block-based, or object-based storage, comprising storage devices like disks or tapes, and they are presented to users in a virtualized manner.

  1. File-Based Storage: This type of storage is crucial for applications that rely on file systems or shared file access. It serves purposes like maintaining repositories, supporting development activities, and housing user home directories.
  2. Block-Based Storage: Block-based storage offers low-latency storage solutions suited for applications that require frequent access, such as databases. It operates at the block level, necessitating partitioning and formatting before use.
  3. Object-Based Storage: Object-based storage is indispensable for applications demanding scalability, support for unstructured data, and robust metadata capabilities. It is well-suited for storing large volumes of data used in analytics, archiving, or backup scenarios.

Network Pool

Network Pool

Resources within pools can be interconnected, either within the same pool or across different pools, through network facilities. These connections can be utilized for tasks such as distributing workloads evenly and aggregating links. Network pools consist of a variety of networking equipment, such as gateways, switches, and routers. These physical networking devices are used to establish virtual networks that are then made available to customers. Customers have the option to construct their own networks using these virtual resources.

Typically, data centers maintain dedicated resource pools of various types, which can also be tailored for specific applications or user groups. As the number of resources and pools grows, managing and organizing them can become quite intricate. A hierarchical structure can be used to address this complexity by enabling the formation of parent-child, sibling, or nested pools to satisfy various resource pooling requirements.

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Resource Sharing in Cloud Computing

Types of Tenancy

Types of Tenancy

In a nutshell, single tenancy involves using a dedicated instance of an application and infrastructure for each customer, ensuring high security but higher costs. Multi-tenancy, on the other hand, enables multiple customers to share a single application and infrastructure while keeping their data isolated, resulting in lower costs and increased efficiency.

Cloud computing technology utilizes resource sharing to improve resource utilization. A substantial number of applications can simultaneously operate within a resource pool, although they may not all experience peak demands simultaneously. Consequently, distributing these resources among applications can raise the average utilization of these assets, thereby realizing the benefits of resource pooling in cloud computing.

While resource sharing presents various advantages, such as heightened utilization and cost reduction, it also presents challenges, notably in ensuring quality of service (QoS) and performance. When different applications compete for the same pool of resources, it can influence their runtime behavior. Furthermore, predicting performance parameters like response and turnaround time becomes challenging. Consequently, the sharing of resources necessitates the implementation of effective management strategies to uphold performance standards.

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Cloud resource management includes multi-tenancy as a crucial feature in public clouds. In contrast to the traditional single tenancy approach, where dedicated resources are assigned to individual users, multi-tenancy is an architectural concept where a single resource is shared among multiple tenants (customers) while maintaining logical separation and physical connectivity. In essence, a single instance of software can run on a single server and serve multiple tenants, ensuring that each tenant’s data is securely kept separate from others. Below, the image illustrates the distinctions between single-tenancy and multi-tenancy scenarios.

Multi-tenancy promotes the efficient sharing of resources among multiple users without their explicit awareness. It not only proves cost-effective and efficient for service providers but also has the potential to reduce charges for consumers. Multi-tenancy is made possible through various supporting features such as virtualization, resource sharing, and dynamic allocation from resource pools.

In this model, physical resources are not reserved for specific users, nor are they exclusively allocated to particular applications. Instead, they can be temporarily utilized by multiple users or applications as needed. When demand is met, these resources are released and returned to a pool of available resources, which can then be allocated to meet other requirements. This approach significantly enhances resource utilization while minimizing investment.

Multi-tenancy can be implemented in three ways:

  1. Single Multi-tenant Database: One application and database instance serve multiple tenants, offering scalability and cost savings but increased operational complexity.
  2. One Database per tenant: Each tenant has a separate database instance, reducing scalability and increasing costs but with lower operational complexity.
  3. One App instance and One Database per tenant: Each tenant gets a separate application and database instance, providing strong data isolation but higher costs.

Multi-tenancy can be applied across different levels of cloud services, including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). It enhances resource sharing and efficiency, depending on the specific cloud service model.

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Tenancy at Different Levels of Cloud Services

Tenancy at Different Levels of Cloud Services

Multi-tenancy can apply to public, private, or community deployment models and across all service models (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS). Here are the followings: 

IaaS: At the IaaS level, it involves virtualizing resources, allowing customers to share servers, storage, and network resources without affecting others.

PaaS: At the PaaS level, multi-tenancy is achieved by running multiple applications from different vendors on the same operating system, eliminating the need for separate virtual machines.

SaaS: At the SaaS level, customers share a single application instance with a database instance. While limited customization is possible, extensive edits are usually restricted to ensure the application serves multiple customers effectively.

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Resource Provisioning and Approaches

Resource provisioning is the important process of efficiently giving resources to applications or customers. When customers request resources, these are automatically sourced from a shared pool of customizable resources. Virtualization technology speeds up resource allocation, creating customized virtual machines for customers in minutes. To ensure efficient and swift provisioning,  prudent management of resources is imperative.

Efficient resource provisioning entails the indirect allocation of physical resources to users. Instead, these resources are first made accessible to virtual machines, which are subsequently allocated to users and applications. There are different ways to assign resources to virtual machines. These include static, dynamic, and hybrid approaches.

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Static Approach

Static Approach

Static resource provisioning involves initially allocating resources to virtual machines based on user or application requirements, with no further adjustments expected. This approach suits applications with consistent and unchanging workloads. Once a virtual machine is created, it operates without ongoing resource allocation, avoiding runtime overhead.

However, static provisioning has limitations. Predicting future workloads accurately can be challenging, potentially leading to resource under-provisioning or over-provisioning. Under-provisioning occurs when demand exceeds available resources, risking service downtime or application performance degradation. Over-provisioning, on the other hand, results from reserving excessive resources initially, leading to inefficient resource utilization and unnecessary costs. Check the image for under-provisioning and the diagram for over-provisioning scenarios.

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Dynamic Approach

Dynamic Approach

In dynamic provisioning, resources are allocated or released in real-time based on current needs, eliminating the need for customers to predict resource requirements. Resources are taken from a pool when needed and returned when no longer necessary, ensuring system elasticity. This approach enables customers to be billed on a usage basis. Dynamic provisioning is ideal for applications with unpredictable or fluctuating resource demands, especially scalable ones. While it incurs some runtime overhead, it can efficiently adapt to changing needs, eliminating the issues of over-provisioning and under-provisioning, albeit with a minor delay.

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Hybrid Approach

Hybrid Approach

While dynamic provisioning effectively addresses issues inherent to a static approach, it can introduce runtime overhead. The hybrid approach resolves this dilemma by merging the strengths of static and dynamic provisioning. Initially, static provisioning occurs during virtual machine creation to streamline the provisioning process’s complexity. Subsequently, dynamic provisioning is applied as needed to adapt to workload changes during runtime. This approach proves efficient, particularly for real-time applications.

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VM Sizing

VM Sizing

Virtual machine (VM) sizing involves the process of determining the appropriate allocation of resources for a VM, ensuring that its capacity aligns with the workload demands. This assessment relies on various parameters provided by the customer. In the context of static provisioning, VM sizing is performed at the outset, whereas dynamic provisioning allows for adjustments in VM size based on application workloads.

There are two approaches to conducting VM sizing:

  1. Individual VM-Based: In this approach, resources are initially allocated to each VM based on historical workload patterns. If the load exceeds expectations, additional resources can be allocated from a resource pool as needed.
  2. Joint-VM-Based: This approach involves resource allocation to VMs in a collective manner. Resources initially assigned to one VM can be reassigned to another VM hosted on the same physical machine, promoting more efficient overall resource utilization.

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Resource Pooling in cloud computing is a pivotal element. Cloud data centers skillfully manage various resources, such as storage, network capabilities, and server capacities. The resources are shown online to users, emphasizing how the cloud can easily change and grow.

Within this framework, resource allocation is fascinating. It provides various choices, such as catering to individual users or applications or intelligently sharing resources among multiple users and applications. Users can customize resource allocation methods based on their needs with static, dynamic, or hybrid approaches. Resource pooling is at the core of cloud computing. It brings efficiency, scalability, and accessibility, making it a powerful force in technology.


What are the benefits of resource pooling in cloud computing?

Resource pooling allows for efficiently utilizing shared computing resources, leading to cost savings, scalability, and improved resource management.

What are some common use cases for resource pooling in cloud computing?

By sharing and optimizing resources, businesses can reduce infrastructure costs, pay only for what they use, and scale resources as needed, avoiding over-provisioning.

What are the different technologies that are used to implement resource pooling in cloud computing?

Common use cases include web hosting, data storage, virtualization, and running diverse workloads with varying resource requirements.

How can resource pooling in cloud computing help businesses save money?

Challenges include security concerns, potential resource contention, performance fluctuations, and complex management of shared resources.

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