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SmartFrog and Data Centre Automation

Goldsack, Patrick; Murray, Paul; Farrell, Andrew; Toft, Peter

HPL-2008-35

Keyword(s): Automation, Next Generation Data Centre, Declarative Modelling, Workflow, Orchestration

Abstract: If we are to facilitate service provision in next generation data centres then we need to tackle a number of challenges which lie at the heart of the automation problem for these data centres, including: scale, reliability, security, and service heterogeneity. In this position paper, we consider the requirements for a solution to these challenges which entail a shift in philosophy from imperative to declarative models for data centres. An important aspect of such a shift is the replacement of workflow as a mechanism for automation. In its place, we propose a declarative approach based on modelling individual components of a system together with their possible configuration states. Dependencies may be specified between components which guard how components may change configuration states. We determine the actions that may be performed to dynamically achieve target states for the system from these models. We have built an experimental system around these concepts and describe this approach in outline. Publication Info: To be presented at the Rise and Rise of the Declarative Datacentre (R2D2), Microsoft/HP Joint Workshop, May 2008, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

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