HP Labs Technical Reports
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FLEX: Design and Management Strategy for Scalable Web Hosting Service
Keyword(s): Web hosting service; web server farm; web server cluster; virtual servers; DNS; load balancing; scalability; performance analysis; synthetic traces
Abstract: We propose a new scalable solution for design and management of an efficient Web hosting service, called FLEX. This solution can be applied to a Web hosting service implemented on different architecture platforms, such as web server farms with replicated disk content, or web server clusters having access to a shared file system. FLEX is based on the "locality aware" balancing strategy which aims to avoid the unnecessary document replication to improve the overall performance of the system. By monitoring the traffic to each customer's site and analyzing the combined traffic to a system in whole, FLEX proposes a balanced (logical) partitioning of the customers (web sites) by the number of nodes in the system. The desirable routing can be done by submitting the correspondent configuration files to the DNS server, since each hosted web site has a unique domain name. FLEX can be easily implemented on top of the current infrastructure used by Web hosting service providers. Using a simulation model and a synthetic trace generator, we compare the current solutions and FLEX over the range of different workloads. For generated traces, FLEX outperforms current solutions 2-5 times. This paper is a continuation and development of the work started in [Ch99].
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