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VMware hints at future directions with boffin cash dangle

$150k on offer to research 'large-scale, geo-distributed, data-intensive services'

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VMware has lifted its skirts just a little by shouting out to university boffins around the world with a list of topics it would like to see researched.

Published here under the title “Datacenter Automation in Virtualized Environments”, the list offers the following four areas of interest:

  1. Scalable Machine Learning / Analytics for datacenter management
  2. Management of multi-tenant infrastructure for data-intensive applications
  3. Algorithms, protocols, design patterns and systems for the management of large-scale, geo-distributed, data-intensive services
  4. Automation of storage/network QoS in the presence of I/O resource contention for data-intensive applications

The first item on the list seems anodyne: VMware already offers predictive analytics for private clouds and preaches automation, so an interest in doing so more effectively through machine learning is not surprising.

“Management of multi-tenant infrastructure for data-intensive applications” fits in with Virtzilla's stated aim to make just about any application virtualisable, no matter the scale at which it operates.

The latter two items look more interesting as “large-scale, geo-distributed, data-intensive services” hints at workloads moving around the world, perhaps in follow-the-moon mode, or being distributed between several data centres.

Automating quality of service in busy environments suggests advanced software-defined networking and storage problems may be under consideration.

Boffins who feel they have something to offer in these fields have until March 2014 to submit an abstract of their proposed research. Up to $US150,000 will be handed out to researchers whose work piques VMware's interest. The company is also open to other research suggestions beyond the four topics it has floated. ®

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