Contact: Christian.Perez _at_ inria.fr
Since the building of the first computers, we are witnessing a continuous evolution of computer science towards more and more abstraction of hardware resources. It has been extended so far to the trendy virtual machine concept that offers the possibility to run any system over any other one. This building block is the foundation of recent distributed virtualized infrastructures, usually classified into Infrastructure as a Service solutions (IaaS) in the new cloud-computing paradigm. However, system virtualization has been mainly limited to one physical machine. With respect to the current utilization of IT through networks in general and Internet in particular, as well as the large amount of manipulated data, next steps consist in extending virtualization concepts to network and storage facilities. Addressing these new concerns in addition to the usual ones related to distributed platforms implies to conduct specific experiments in order to propose valuable management systems.
The UBIVERTEX project aims at setting up a platform for conducting researches and validating technologies with respect to virtualization of complex and large scale IT systems. On one hand, the platform will offer innovating services enabling the launch of experiments on networking and storage virtualization in addition to the current capability of processor virtualization. On the other hand, it will allow solving a large scope of issues related to distributed virtualized systems.
Leveraging the mechanisms that have made the success of Grid'5000, UBIVERTEX will go one step ahead in terms of flexibility: each active device (servers, network, storage as well as energy systems) will provide virtualization technologies and specific APIs in order to be customized according to the experiment objectives. Researchers will be able to build specific experiments, focusing either on one particular element or considering all kind of resources at the same time. Moreover, UBIVERTEX will guarantee the validity and the reproducibility of results by offering completely isolated environments, hiding other experiments.
Among the numerous challenges UBIVERTEX will contribute to solve, the major ones are related to the large-scale management of ``on demand'' resources, as well as their resulting energy footprints. UBIVERTEX will allow to study and promote mechanisms adapted to the sharing of data, the quality of service, the security, as well as resource optimization issues (adapting resources to real needs).
Being a platform to study next-generation IT systems, UBIVERTEX shall generate many and diverse scientific and technological impacts. The main target community is the scientific one dealing with IT infrastructure, including operating systems, networks, resource management, storage, and large scale systems. However, the proposition of new system level features will also impact applications. It will impact very demanding communities such as high performance, databases and Internet technologies as well. Hence, in addition to expected scientific advances, UBIVERTEX will enable to strengthen and/or to create complementarities between teams on these themes. Obviously, UBIVERTEX will impact IT technologies, in particular with respect to knowledge, know-how, and the development of new models and software.
The audience targeted by the UBIVERTEX platform includes academic research teams, start-ups, and industrial actors including large private companies. A special SME group will be set up to allow small startup companies working on large virtualized and distributed systems to access the platform for their own developments. Regarding the usage modality, the platform will be open worldwide based on an entry fee, defined according to the users' commitment. Finally, an advisory board will be created, composed of actors of private and academic entities. This advisory board will meet once a year and will define the main orientations of the project.
In addition to the five partners that have submitted the UBIVERTEX proposal, more than 287 persons among 31 teams have notified their interest. The design of the UBIVERTEX proposal results from the exchanges with scientific and industrial partners