Using Machine Learning for Black-Box Autoscaling

TitleUsing Machine Learning for Black-Box Autoscaling
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsWajahat, Muhammad, Gandhi Anshul, Karve Alexei, and Kochut Andrzej

Autoscaling is the practice of automatically adding or removing resources for an application deployment to meet performance targets in response to changing workload conditions. However, existing autoscaling approaches typically require expert application and system knowledge to minimize resource costs and performance target violations, thus limiting their applicability. We present MLscale, an application-agnostic, machine learning based autoscaler that is composed of: (i) a neural network based online (black-box) performance modeler, and (ii) a regression based metrics predictor to estimate post-scaling application and system metrics. Implementation results for diverse applications across several traces highlight MLscale’s application-agnostic behavior and show that MLscale (i) reduces resource costs by about 50% compared to the optimal static policy, (ii) is within 15% of the cost of the optimal dynamic policy, and (iii) provides similar cost-performance tradeoffs, without requiring any tuning, when compared to carefully tuned threshold-based policies.