The NEBULA Project

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2010-09-07 Print this article Print


The NEBULA project is led by the University of Pennsylvania with collaboration from Cornell University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Purdue University, Stanford University, Stevens Institute of Technology, the University of California/Berkley, the University of Delaware, the University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign, the University of Texas, and the University of Washington.

The following is a description of the NEBULA project:

"The growing trend toward migrating storage, computation, and applications into the -cloud' is creating unprecedented opportunities for global-scale, network-centric computing infrastructure, enabling new ways of fast resource provisioning,  utility pricing and consistent and easy management. NEBULA is an architecture (nebula is Latin for cloud) in which cloud computing data centers are the primary repositories of data and the primary locus of computation.  In this future model, the data centers are connected by a high-speed, extremely reliable and secure backbone network. The project focuses on developing new trustworthy data, control and core networking approaches to support the emerging cloud computing model of always-available network services. This project addresses the technical challenges in creating a cloud-computing-centric architecture."

The fourth project, eXpressive Network Architecture, is led by Carnegie Mellon University with collaboration from Boston University and the University of Wisconsin/Madison.

An NSF description of the eXpressive Network Architecture says:

"The eXpressive Internet Architecture (XIA) addresses the growing diversity of network use models, the need for trustworthy communication, and the growing set of stakeholders who coordinate their activities to provide Internet services. XIA addresses these needs by exploring the technical challenges in creating a single network that offers inherent support for communication between current communicating principals--including hosts, content, and services--while accommodating unknown future entities. For each type of principal, XIA defines a narrow waist that dictates the application programming interface (API) for communication and the network communication mechanisms. XIA provides intrinsic security in which the integrity and authenticity of communication is guaranteed. XIA enables flexible context-dependent mechanisms for establishing trust between the communicating principals, bridging the gap between human and intrinsically secure identifiers. This project includes user experiments to evaluate and refine the interface between the network and users, and studies that analyze the relationship between technical design decisions, and economic incentives and public policy."


Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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