Worldwide interest in the delivery of computing and storage capacity as a service continues to grow at a rapid pace. The complexities of such cloud computing centers require advanced resource management solutions that are capable of dynamically adapting the cloud platform while providing continuous service and performance guarantees. The goal of this paper is to devise resource allocation policies for virtualized cloud environments that satisfy performance and availability guarantees and minimize energy costs in very large cloud service centers. We present a scalable distributed hierarchical framework based on a mixed-integer nonlinear optimization of resource management acting at multiple timescales. Extensive experiments across a wide variety of configurations demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of our approach. © 2013 IEEE.