Mobile Edge as Part of the Multi-Cloud Ecosystem: A Performance Study
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Cloud computing has revolutionised the development and deployment of applications by running them cost-effectively in remote data centres. With the increasing need for mobility and micro-services, particularly with the emerging 5G mobile broadband networks, there is also a strong demand for mobile edge computing (MEC). It enables applications to run in small cloud systems in close proximity to the user in order to minimise latencies. Both cloud computing and MEC have their own advantages and disadvantages. Combining these two computing paradigms in a unified multi-cloud platform has the potential of obtaining the best of both worlds. However, a comprehensive study is needed to evaluate the performance gains and the overheads imposed by this combination to real-world cloud applications. In this paper, we introduce a baseline performance evaluation in order to identify the fallacies and pitfalls of combining multiple cloud systems and MEC into a unified MEC-multi-cloud platform. For this purpose, we analyze the basic, application-independent performance metrics of average round-trip time (RTT) and average application payload throughput in a setup consisting of two private and one public cloud systems. This baseline performance analysis confirms the feasibility of MEC-multi-cloud and provides guidelines for designing an autonomic resource provisioning solution in terms of an extension proposed to our existing Melodic middleware platform for multi-cloud applications.