Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


Are Cloudlets Necessary?

Ying Gao, Wenlu Hu, Kiryong Ha, Brandon Amos,
Padmanabhan Pillai*,Mahadev Satyanarayanan

October 2015


Keywords: Low latency, augmented reality, mobile computing, cloud computing, fog computing, edge computing, 4G LTE, cellular networks, Wi-Fi, user interaction, user experience, COMET, face recognition, RTT

We present experimental results from Wi-Fi and 4G LTE networks to validate the intuition that low end-to-end latency of cloud services improves application response time and reduces energy consumption on mobile devices. We focus specifically on computational offoading as a cloud service. Using a wide range of applications, and exploring both pre-partitioned and dynamically partitioned approaches, we demonstrate the importance of low latenc for cloud offload services. We show the best performance is achieved by offloading to cloudlets, which are small-scale edge-located data centers. Our results show that cloudlets can improve response times 51% and reduce energy consumption in a mobile device by up to 42% compared to cloud offload.

16 pages

*Intel Labs

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