Interview September 2013

Sep 03 2013

"OpenCloudware will dynamically adapt the configuration of cloud applications, at runtime"

OpenCloudware Interview: Fabienne Boyer, Associate Professor in computer science at University Joseph Fourier, in Grenoble.

How would you present the OW2 OpenCloudware project?

The OpenCloudWare project intends to provide a complete environment for developing, deploying and managing applications on a Cloud. OpenCloudWare is not tied to a particular IaaS platform -- on the contrary, it is an open environment upon several IaaS, allowing to balance an application's load over several data centers that are geographically distributed.

What is your role in the project?

With Noel de Palma, I am leading the sub-project 1 which main objective is to provide a model@runtime for any deployed application. A model@runtime reflects the dynamic configuration of an application for observation purposes (e.g., on what virtual machines are running the application's components, what is the current configuration of these virtual machines? what is their current load?). A model@runtime also allows to adapt at runtime the dynamic configuration of an application through predetermined actuators. 

The sub-project 1 provides basic building blocks to the other sub-projects of the OpenCloudWare environment, giving the elementary means to observe and adapt an application in a cloud. Lifecycle management tools as well as autonomic tools are expected to be built upon these basic blocks.

What key innovations do you bring or are helping to develop?

There are many research and industrial projects focusing on model@runtime to achieve reconfigurability of applications at execution time, but most of them do not target cloud environments. Cloud environments introduce new concepts for models@runtime such as virtualization. Moreover they require challenging properties such as distribution, scalability and robustness.

How did you choose to become a computer scientist?

I am an associate professor at LIG (Laboratoire d'Informatique de Grenoble), in the ERODS team. My research focuses on the reconfigurability of component-based applications. Components are successfully used to architect complex software, providing both introspection and reconfigurability at runtime. A strong challenge is to ensure the robustness of reconfigurations -- these should not impact the consistency of the running applications over time. As a basic design principle for gaining robustness, I investigate the use of reflexivity. Reflexive models provide a representation, also called model@runtime, of a running system that can be observed and modified at runtime to act upon the running system in a controlled way.

A word about Fabienne Boyer, Associate Professor in computer science at University Joseph Fourier, in Grenoble.


Fabienne Boyer received her PhD in computer science in 1995, while she was a joint-researcher of Bull Laboratories and the IMAG research Center from University Joseph Fourier(Grenoble/ France). Since 1995, she is Associate Professor in computer science at University Joseph Fourier. She is a member of the LIG laboratory where she works on software reconfigurability with a special emphasis on the use of reflexivity.  She gained a first experience on such aspects through the Jade project, in which she was a main designer of the model@runtime facility and drove the work on self-healing. She now consider software reconfigurability in the context of Cloud environments  as well as in the context of component-based virtual machines. She coordinated the ANR SELFWARE Project and participated in the ARCAD (ANR) project. 

She also participated to the European projects Grid4ALL (FP7) and C3DS (Esprit)..

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