Feeds

MS and Google team to fund net lab

RADical research

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.