autonomic computing in the works

It seems like Google lets out something out of the bag once in a while.. take Google Omega..

and their recent announcement about their use of linux containers —

lmctfy (on github)

To me, this sounds like a developer / app deployer being able to specify the characteristics of the workload when they deploy it (represented by SLAs – priority, latency expectation etc..) and the management platform using metadata about resource pools, their available capacities to fulfill the SLAs , then choosing the right pools  and then deploying them there..

So, in effect, it’s not just their workload scheduler, they require the right metadata to be populated along with their workloads..

It just so happens that the unit of deployment they may be using is containers using cgroups and kernel namespaces, and they add additional metadata to the definition of the containers that users can manipulate 

one can start doing this with docker today, with custom metadata.. the harder part is the scheduler, which would have to be something custom (maybe piggy backing on openstack work around nova scheduler, neutron etc .. or an existing PaaS ecosystem like openshift)

This is probably a truer version of workload management moving towards the idea of autonomic computing, than just moving VMs around.. Granted you could do the same with VMs, add metadata, but you’d also have to deal with resource management at two levels – at the hypervisor and at the vm level — which is usually not a good idea.


little bits of code and data everywhere

If you have been following the cloud trend, with virtualization, programmable stacks, sdn, message based orchestration etc.., this bit of news may not seem like  anything new, just another trend.

However, if you dig deeper into this, you’ll notice that the result of adding networking / sdn smarts to android actually has much deeper connotations. This first paves the way for running android in the datacenter servers. With SDN and orchestrated spin-up, spin-down of android vms in the datacenter, you could run in split seconds or minutes thousands of these in the datacenters. And if you’re an android phone/tablet user, you will know that this operating system is quite capable of running any kind of application.

One minute detail that may be easily overlooked is the fact that the entire android operating system comprises of most of the code run in the Dalvik virtual machine, with few bits and pieces running on a custom linux kernel.Now, if most of the SDN pieces being talked about in the article is actually added to the VM portion of android, then what you end up with is a fully programmable container for code and data. That container could be serialized and shipped via network to any platform that can run the dalvik vm and run again…

This brings up a whole new connotation to the “cloud” paradigm. It’s a cloud that’s going to be raining runnable bits of code and data everywhere. The possibilities, if this is where it’s heading, is actually endless..

Comments welcome as always.