Title: VMInformant: an instrumented virtual machine to support trustworthy cloud computing

Authors: Taimur Al-Said; Omer Rana; Peter Burnap

Addresses: School of Computer Science and Informatics, Cardiff University, Queen's Buildings, 5 The Parade, Roath, Cardiff CF24 3AA, UK ' School of Computer Science and Informatics, Cardiff University, Queen's Buildings, 5 The Parade, Roath, Cardiff CF24 3AA, UK ' School of Computer Science and Informatics, Cardiff University, Queen's Buildings, 5 The Parade, Roath, Cardiff CF24 3AA, UK

Abstract: We describe how a virtual machine (VM) owner can increase visibility about how a VM and its data are stored and processed in the cloud. We present 'VMInformant', a monitoring system which can keep the user informed about events that take place on their VM (both inside the VM and via calls made through a hypervisor). A taxonomy of VM security-related events is presented, along with performance overheads associated with monitoring such events using CPU and I/O intensive benchmarks. We argue that having this level of transparency is essential to improve trust between a cloud consumer and provider.

Keywords: performance evaluation; cloud security; instrumented virtual machines; trustworthiness; cloud computing; introspection; virtual machine monitoring; performance overheads.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHPCN.2015.071257

International Journal of High Performance Computing and Networking, 2015 Vol.8 No.3, pp.222 - 234

Available online: 18 Aug 2015 *

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