Laxitive writes: In a set of surprise changes to the to a budget bill, the government of Wisconsin has included resolutions calling for UofW to return $39-million in federal grant money awarded to build out high-speed internet access in the state. From the article:
"The plan would also require all University of Wisconsin institutions to withdraw from WiscNet, a nonprofit network cooperative that services the public universities, most of the technical and private colleges in Wisconsin, about 75 percent of the state’s elementary and high schools, and 95 percent of its public libraries, according to David F. Giroux, a spokesman for the university system."
Laxitive writes: Company Alcon, behind the movie "The Blind Side" is eyeing a "reboot" of Blade Runner, according to this article. To quote the co-heads: "This is a major acquisition for our company, and a personal favorite film for both of us... We recognize the responsibility we have to do justice to the memory of the original with any prequel or sequel we produce. We have long-term goals for the franchise, and are exploring multiplatform concepts, not just limiting ourselves to one medium.”
Laxitive writes: GridCentric just posted an article and demo on using live-cloning of VMs across a network to implement a producer/consumer system where new producer and/or consumer VMs can be instantly scaled from a single running VM to dozens in a few seconds, with just a single click.
The article demonstrates scaling from 1 VM to more than a dozen (across multiple physical hosts on a network) in just a few seconds... putting the scaling performance of existing cloud architectures to shame.
Laxitive writes: We (GridCentric) just posted a couple of interesting videos demoing a load-testing use-case on top of our freely available Xen-based virtualization platform called Copper. In both videos, we use live-cloning of VMs to instantly create a swarm of worker VMs that act as clients to a webapp. The ability to clone is exposed as an API call to the VM that wants to clone itself, meaning that in a dozen lines of shell, we can script the automatic creation and control of dozens of VMs across multiple physical computers.
Creating a clone VM in Copper is similar in function and complexity to forking a process in Unix, and carries all the same assurances: your new VMs are near exact copies of the original VM, start running within seconds of the clone command being invoked, and are "live" — meaning that all programs running on the original VM remain running on the clone VM.
The more we play with it, the more it feels like live-cloning is one of those core capabilities which is at once powerful as well as easy to leverage in designing distributed applications and services. And it seems that today, when cloud is on the top of everyone's mind, is when we should really be having a discussion on what the APIs, architecture, and features of this new class of distributed operating systems should be.
We hope this demo spurs some of that discussion...
Laxitive writes: Virtualization systems currently have a pretty easy time oversubscribing CPUs (running lots of VMs on a few CPUs), but have had a very hard time oversubscribing memory. GridCentric, a virtualization startup, just posted on their blog a video demoing the creation of 16 one-gigabyte desktop VMs (running X) on a computer with just 5 gigs of ram. The blog post includes a good explanation of how this is accomplished, along with a description of how it's different from the major approaches being used today (memory ballooning, VMWare's page sharing, etc.). Their method is based on a combination of lightweight VM cloning (sort of like fork() for VMs) and on-demand paging. Seems like the 'other half' of resource oversubscription for VMs might finally be here.