The convergence of mobile computing and cloud computing enables new mobile applications that are both resource-intensive and interactive. For these applications, end-to-end network bandwidth and latency matter greatly when cloud resources are used to augment the computational power and battery life of a mobile device. This dissertation designs and implements a new architectural element called a cloudlet, that arises from the convergence of mobile computing and cloud computing. Cloudlets represent the middle tier of a 3-tier hierarchy, mobile device — cloudlet—cloud, to achieve the right balance between cloud consolidation and network responsiveness. We first present quantitative evidence that shows cloud location can affect the performance of mobile applications and cloud consolidation. We then describe an architectural solution using cloudlets that are a seamless extension of todays cloud computing infrastructure. Finally, we define minimal functionalities that cloudlets must offer above/beyond standard cloud computing, and address corresponding technical challenges.

Ha, K.
PhD Thesis, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Carnegie Mellon University, December 2016