FIRM: An Intelligent Fine-Grained Resource Management Framework for SLO-Oriented Microservices

Haoran Qiu, Subho S. Banerjee, Saurabh Jha, Zbigniew T. Kalbarczyk, and Ravishankar K. Iyer

OSDI 2020


Modern user-facing, latency-sensitive web services include numerous distributed, intercommunicating microservices that promise to simplify software development and operation. However, multiplexing compute-resources across microservices is still challenging in production because contention for shared resources can cause latency spikes that violate the service-level objectives (SLOs) of user requests. This paper presents FIRM, an intelligent fine-grained resource management framework for predictable sharing of resources across microservices to drive up overall utilization. FIRM leverages online telemetry data and machine-learning methods to adaptively (a) detect/localize microservices that cause SLO-violations, (b) identify low-level resources in contention, and (c) take actions to mitigate SLO-violations by dynamic reprovisioning. Experiments across four microservice benchmarks demonstrate that FIRM reduces SLO violations by up to 16x while reducing the overall requested CPU limit by up to 62%. Moreover, FIRM improves performance predictability by reducing tail latencies by up to 11x.


@inproceedings {Qiu2020,
  author = {Qiu, Haoran and Banerjee, Subho Sankar and Jha, Saurabh and Kalbarczyk, Zbigniew T. and Iyer, Ravishankar K.},
  title = {{FIRM}: An Intelligent Fine-grained Resource Management Framework for SLO-oriented Microservices},
  booktitle = {14th {USENIX} Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation ({OSDI} 20)},
  year = {2020},
  address = {Banff, Alberta},
  url = {},
  publisher = {{USENIX} Association},
  month = nov,

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