Virtualization-Based Techniques for Enabling Multi-tenant Management Tools
As service providers strive to improve the quality and efficiency of their IT (information technology) management services, the need to adopt a standard set of tools and processes becomes increasingly important. Deploying multi-tenant capable tools is a key part of this standardization, since a single instance can be used to manage multiple customer environments, and multi-tenant tools have the potential to significantly reduce service-delivery costs. However, most tools are not designed for multi-tenancy, and providing this support requires extensive re-design and re-implementation.
In this paper, we explore the use of virtualization technology to enable multi-tenancy for systems and network management tools with minimal, if any, changes to the tool software. We demonstrate our design techniques by creating a multi-tenant version of a widely-used open source network management system. We perform a number of detailed profiling experiments to measure the resource requirements in the virtual environments, and also compare the scalability of two multi-tenant realizations using different virtualization approaches. We show that our design can support roughly 20 customers with a single tool instance, and leads to a scalability increase of 60–90% over a traditional design in which each customer is assigned to a single virtual machine.
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