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VM Leakage and Orphan Control in Open-Source Clouds



Christopher E. Dabrowski, Kevin L. Mills


Computer systems often exhibit degraded performance due to resource leakage caused by erroneous programming or malicious attacks, and computers can even crash in extreme cases of resource exhaustion. The advent of cloud computing provides increased opportunities to amplify such vulnerabilities, thus affecting a significant number of computer users. Using simulation, we demonstrate that cloud computing systems based on open-source code could be subjected to a simple malicious attack capable of degrading availability of virtual machines (VMs). We describe how the attack leads to VM leakage, causing orphaned VMs to accumulate over time, reducing the pool of resources available to users. We identify a set of orphan control processes needed in multiple cloud components, and we illustrate how such processes detect and eliminate orphaned VMs. We show that adding orphan control allows an open-source cloud to sustain a higher level of VM availability during malicious attacks. We also report how the overhead of implementing orphan control scales with attack intensity.
Proceedings Title
3rd IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing Technology and Science
Conference Dates
November 29-December 2, 2011
Conference Location


availability, cloud computing, modeling, reliability, scalable fault resilience techniques


Dabrowski, C. and Mills, K. (2011), VM Leakage and Orphan Control in Open-Source Clouds, 3rd IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing Technology and Science, Athens, -1 (Accessed June 22, 2024)


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Created November 29, 2011, Updated March 2, 2018