Sky Seminar: Hakim Weatherspoon (Cornell) – Have Your Cake and Eat It: Reliably Running Stateful Virtual Machines in Cheap Spot Markets

Speaker: Hakim Weatherspoon
Location: Soda 430-438, Woz Lounge
Date: February 10, 2023
Time: 12-1pm PST

Title: Have Your Cake and Eat It: Reliably Running Stateful Virtual Machines in Cheap Spot Markets

Cloud enterprise consumers spend millions of dollars each month renting space on computers owned by cloud providers.  Cloud Spot markets as provided by Amazon, Microsoft and Google allow the use of unrented computers for up to 10 times cheaper than the normal rate reducing costs up to 90%.  There is just one catch, cloud providers reserve the right to take those computers back at any time with little to no warning making the spot market nearly impossible to reliably use for stateful applications. In this talk, we explore the use of seamless live migration of stateful application containers and virtual machines (VMs) to take advantage of spot markets allowing stateful applications to benefit from significant discounts of cloud spot markets. We show that in unstable markets live migration of stateful application can achieve significant savings at low overhead and while maintaining good reliability.

Hakim Weatherspoon is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Cornell University, Associate Director of the Cornell Institute for Digital Agriculture (CIDA), and  the Chief Executive Officer of Exotanium, Inc ( His research interests cover various aspects of fault-tolerance, reliability, security, and performance of internet-scale data systems such as cloud and distributed systems.  Weatherspoon received his PhD from University of California, Berkeley. Weatherspoon has received awards for his many contributions, including an the University of Washington, Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering, Alumni Achievement Award;  Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship; National Science Foundation CAREER Award; and a Kavli Fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences. He serves as Vice President of the USENIX Board of Directors and is the Founder, Steering Committee, and General Chair for the ACM Symposium on Cloud Computing. Hakim has also been recognized for his work to promote diversity, earning Cornell’s Zellman Warhaft Commitment to Diversity Award.  Since 2011, he has organized the annual SoNIC Summer Research Workshop to help prepare between students from underrepresented groups to pursue their Ph.D. in computer science.