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Metering Existing Program Packages for Cloud Based Applications

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000241177D
Publication Date: 2015-Apr-01
Document File: 3 page(s) / 34K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Described is metering usage of cloud applications.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 30% of the total text.

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Metering Existing Program Packages for Cloud Based Applications

One of the issues with cloud applications is metering usage. Often clouds use off-the-shelf software to provide services to its users. By using standard file protection mechanisms with these packages, it only provides an all or nothing approach. Either the user can use all the features or they cannot. With very high cost pressures on cloud providers, there is a need for cloud providers to provide cheaper offerings with services often restricted to just what the user thinks they need. Often in cases like this, the cloud provider finds that if they create a profitable business model, they model it and charge users for features that the user never thought they would use (but certainly will). By doing this, the provider could have both an attractive offering and an approach that will be profitable. With most pre-existing software that is purchased, it is not possible to determine when a user uses a particular feature of that package and charge them for it. Even with internal software, it may be easier to utilize this invention than to change and rebuild the software. This invention offers a fast path to metering an application feature that does not require rebuilding the application.

    There is a need to be able to meter infrequently used features of existing software packages in a cloud environment to make additional revenue. This invention allows users to meter an application so that a cloud administrator can charge users for services. It does this by adding instrumentation hooks to the program, The tool that inserts the instrumentation does so by using the follow steps:

Run a series of tests (developed by the user) that use the target feature and track the covered


1.

instructions


Run a series of tests that execute everything but the metered feature and track the coverage


2.

for this set tests


Determines the instructions in the application that are unique to the feature (i.e., the


3.

instructions that where common to test case run in step 1 and did not appear in any test case run in step 2)

Analyze the instructions unique to the feature to determine the best places to instrument,


4.

taking into account the control flow that can be determined


Instrument these instructions in a non-invasive way that allows the cloud provider to be


5.

notified that a user used a metered feature

    When the program is executed and the metered feature is used on these hooks, the hooks will be encountered and the cloud provider would be notified of the usage. The hooks are inserted in a way that there is no impact to the application functionality and a minimal impact to the performance. In fact, as soon as the hooks are no longer necessary for the run of the application, they can remove themselves and the application can run as it would if the hooks had never been inserted. This invention is a tool that modifies an existing program in a way that allows administrators to meter and charge for usage...