COCOMA, a framework for COntrolled COntentious and MAlicious patterns

The most recent release of BonFIRE has brought experimenters with new features and many improvements to the existing services. There are also new services, like COCOMA, a real asset to controlled experimentation with multi-tenant systems.

The challenges of experimenting with multi-tenant systems

Challenges for multi-tenancy include optimisation of resource sharing and guaranteed isolation against physical limitations, co-located faults and malicious attacks. For these reasons testing the performance and resilience of applications with different hardware, platforms, configurations, resource sharing conditions and user loads is important for increasing the assurance that providers and consumers have in cloud applications. The problems are:
  • How can we study these issues?
  • How can we emulate multi-tenancy behaviour?
  • How can we reproduce the same experiments?

What COCOMA offers you

COCOMA aims to provide a unified and coherent way to define operational conditions in experimental scenarios, allowing users to systematically control and reproduce the conditions for testing their System under Test (SuT) in a single framework. This provides easier management of more complex scenarios where the combination of multiple resources workloads can be exploited.

As an experimenter in BonFIRE, using COCOMA, you will be able to:

  • study your system under real world effects conditions,
  • control those conditions,
  • reproduce the exact same conditions,
  • correlate conditions and results of your SuT, and
  • use those findings to discover weaknesses and tune/enhance their system

Design principles

The main principles behind the design of the framework are the abstraction from the lower level tools that are used to create loads over the resources (i.e., CPU, RAM, I/O, NE, etc) , allowing to emulate the wanted contention, as well as the separation of concerns, providing an effective modularisation of the tool which enables easy extensibility and additions of emulators and distributions


COCOMA is available as a VM image in BonFIRE that you can use if you wish to, accompanied with rich online documentation with plenty of examples of how to use. To find out more about COCOMA, please see the user documentation, the slides and paper from the 2nd International Workshop on Measurement-based Experimental Research, Methodology and Tools, FIA 2013.