Virtualization Technology News and Information
Nortel proving out virtual mash-ups on the Grid

Quoting from InfoWorld

There's been a fair bit of discussion about GridFTP and related protocols for bulk file transfers for Grid environments. And, of course, the very nature of Grid computing is to provide resource pools that can be dynamically provisioned to jobs in the queue.

But a very exciting and NEW, related discussion is taking place around "mashups" of virtual machines and virtual network resources. This new research area is being driven by Dr. Franco Travostino -- who heads Grid activities in the capacity of Director for Advanced Technology and Research at Nortel and is co-Director for the Infrastructure Area at the GGF -- and who is without question one of the most interesting players on the networking side of the enterprise Grid discussion.

Travostino and his team have made some fascinating breakthroughs with Xen hypervisors and Nortel's own DRAC (PDF: 'Dynamic Resource Allocation Controller').

"In Seattle, at Supercomputer 2006, we created a demo by which we took some Xen-based virtual machines that were crunching some particular, computation-intensive tasks ... and we moved them to Amsterdam," said Travostino. "And then from Amsterdam, we moved them to Chicago, and them from Chicago back to Seattle. And in spite of the tens of thousands of miles, the impact on the applications was less than one second. So that's pretty mind-boggling, to think about having a fully featured Linux environment running lots of applications, and teleporting all that across the world with such minimal disruption. DRAC is the "network middleware" that makes this long-haul migration possible at the network level. Specifically, DRAC puts in place a short-lived deterministic network service, on demand. As well, it preserves the sessions with any remote client."


For all the discussion and excitement around virtualization, relatively little has been said to date about the specific network resource management requirements that are specific to Grid. In addition to these recent R&D proof of concept efforts by Travostino and the team at Nortel, many of these issues will be addressed in his upcoming book later this year: "Grid Networks: Enabling Grids with Advanced Communication Technology." The book -- edited by F. Travostino, J. Mambretti, and G. Karmous-Edwards with a dream team of chapter authors -- is a comprehensive look at the network implications / requirements of Grid -- from the different layers, down to the packets, circuits and optical (and even wireless).

Read the entire article, here.


Published Wednesday, May 17, 2006 2:12 PM by David Marshall
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