CSC News

January 12, 2012

Ning's IBM Open Collaborative Faculty Award Makes History

Dr. Peng Ning, professor of computer science at NC State University, has been selected to receive a highly competitive 2011 IBM Open Collaborative Faculty Award valued at $25,000.  This award, which brings the total amount funded to $300,000, is the third renewal of Ning’s 2009 IBM Open Collaborative Faculty Award. 

According to Ning’s IBM collaborator, Dr. Xiaolan Zhang, the Open Collaboration Research (OCR) project, in which Ning participates along with Dr. Mahadev Satyanarayanan from Carnegie Mellon University, is the only one in IBM history to receive fourth year renewal.  Ning’s work in this project is on “Secure Virtual Machine Image Repository”.

Brief Description of the project and its goalsVirtual Machine (VM) image is a convenient mechanism to encapsulate a complete software stack. It is a fundamental technological enabler for building more elaborate computing services such as a computing cloud.  Increasingly, image format and its associated management libraries are shaping how software are distributed and managed in a cloud computing environment, which in turn drives the affinity of software vendors towards certain clouds. For example, recently Oracle announced that its database products can be downloaded as an AMI (Amazon Machine Image) image in the Amazon EC2 cloud.
We believe that a closed VM image format, such as the AMI, inhibits competition and innovation, and we propose an open VM image repository that is image-format agnostic.  Any VM image whose format is publicly documented can be published and retrieved from the repository. We hope to build a large community around such a repository that together drives the innovation in the VM image management area.  Sharing VM images at a large scale raises many security challenges.  This project aims to develop novel mechanisms to protect VM images that are both efficient and scalable.
IBM is a valued Super ePartner with the department and is actively collaborating with our faculty and students on numerous programs and initiatives.  NC State University is one of IBM’s top suppliers of new graduate talent, worldwide.
For more information on Dr. Ning, click here.

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