Elastic Service Availability: Utility Framework and Optimal Provisioning

Dahai Xu, Ying Li, Mung Chiang, A. Robert Calderbank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Service availability is one of the most closely scrutinized metrics in offering network services. It is important to cost effectively provision a managed and differentiated network with various service availability guarantees under a unified platform. In particular, demands for availability may be elastic and such elasticity can be leveraged to improve cost-effectiveness. In this paper, we establish the framework of provisioning elastic service availability through network utility maximization, and propose an optimal and distributed solution using differentiated failure recovery schemes. First, we develop a utility function with configurable parameters to represent the satisfaction perceived by a user upon service availability as well as its allowed source rate. Second, adopting Quality of Protection [1] and shared path protection, we transform optimal provisioning of elastic service availability into a convex optimization problem. The desirable service availability and source rate for each user can be achieved using a price-based distributed algorithm. Finally, we numerically show the tradeoff between the throughput and the service availability obtained by users in various network topologies. This investigation quantifies several engineering implications. For example, indiscriminately provisioning service availabilities for different kinds of users within one network leads to noteworthy sub-optimality in total network utility. The profile of bandwidth usage also illustrates that provisioning high service availability exclusively for critical applications leads to significant waste in bandwidth resource.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-65
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Service availability
  • network utility maximization
  • resource allocation
  • shared protection


Dive into the research topics of 'Elastic Service Availability: Utility Framework and Optimal Provisioning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this