Feeds

MS and Google team to fund net lab

RADical research

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Arch rivals Google and Microsoft have combined with Sun to fund an academic research lab which aims to pioneer the development of new approaches to software development. The three companies will provide $7.5m over five years to fund research at the Reliable, Adaptive and Distributed systems laboratory, or the RAD Lab, at the University of California, Berkeley.

RAD Lab researchers (initially made up of six UC Berkeley professors with 10 computer science graduate students) will focus on developing alternatives to traditional software engineering. In traditional systems, work is completed in sequential stages starting from system concept to development, assessment or testing, deployment and operation.

Critics say this approach is often too slow. Instead of infrequent, well-tested upgrades, code for internet services is continually being modified on the fly. This fix-it-as-you-go approach enables speedier deployment, but it also requires a large technical support staff to make sure operations are not disrupted as bugs are resolved.

"Right now, it takes a large company employing hundreds of really smart people to support Internet services," said David Patterson, UC Berkeley professor and founding director of the RAD Lab. "Our goal with this center is to develop technology that eliminates the need for such a large organization, opening up innovation opportunities for small groups or even individual entrepreneurs. We can help do this by applying statistical machine learning - the same technology used successfully in the recent autonomous vehicle grand challenge - to the development of computer systems."

Google, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems will each donate an average of $500,000 per year to the lab. Along with other smaller contributions, the lab is expected to pull in as much as 80 per cent of its support from industry. Government grants will make up the rest of its funding.

Any software and applications emerging from the RAD Lab will be made freely and openly available to the public, with source code distributed using the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) license. "We are following in the grand tradition of Berkeley engineering, as with Berkeley's BSD Unix operating system, in making our innovations freely available and unencumbered for research and possible commercialisation in source code form," said Randy Katz, a RAD Lab co-founder. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.