An experimental study of cascading performance interference in a virtualized environment
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AbstractIn a consolidated virtualized environment, multiple virtual machines (VMs) are hosted atop a shared physical substrate. They share the underlying hardware resources as well as the software virtualization components. Thus, one VM can generate performance interference to another co-resident VM. This work explores the adverse impact of performance interference from a security perspective. We present a new class of attacks, namely the cascade attacks, in which an adversary seeks to generate performance interference using a malicious VM. One distinct property of the cascade attacks is that when the malicious VM exhausts one type of hardware resources, it will bring "cascading" interference to another type of hardware resources. We present four different implementations of cascade attacks and evaluate their effectiveness atop the Xen virtualization platform. We show that a victim VM can see significant performance degradation (e.g., throughput drops in network and disk I/Os) due to the cascade attacks. Copyright is held by author/owner(s).
All Author(s) ListHuang Q., Lee P.P.C.
Journal namePerformance Evaluation Review
Detailed descriptionTo ORKTS: This is an invited paper for the journal publication.
Year2013
Month4
Day1
Volume Number40
Issue Number4
Pages43 - 52
ISSN0163-5999
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom

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