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From Matt Hogstrom <>
Subject [VOTE] Accept VCL into Apache Incbator
Date Fri, 19 Sep 2008 04:36:49 GMT
This item has been out for discussion for a few weeks.  Please  
indicate your preference for accepting VCL to the Incubator.  Proposal  
is included below for posterity.  We're looking for a few more  
mentors.  If there is discussion please create a parallel [DISCUSS]  

[ ] +1 Accept VCL into Incubator
[ ]  0 No preference
[ ] -1 Do not accept VCL (please state rationale)

VCL Proposal
A proposal to the Apache Software Foundation Incubator PMC by

Matt Hogstrom*, Aaron Peeler#, Mladen Vouk#

*IBM, #North Carolina State University

September 6, 2008

1. Abstract
VCL is a management framework for building, dispensing and managing  
virtual machine images across a set of bare metal machines or systems  
with an installed virtual machine hypervisor.

2. Proposal
This proposal seeks to create a top-level Apache Software Foundation  
project to continue the development and advancement of the Virtual  
Computing Lab open-source framework. This project is primarily  
concerned with providing a framework for hosting virtual server  
instances. These instances can contain a variety of application types.  
This implementation is in use at North Carolina State University to  
facilitate efficient use of their computing infrastructure using  
virtualization technologies. It has broad backing from the existing  
contributors to the North Carolina State University Virtual Computing  
Lab as well as interest from a variety of outside organizations.

The current participants are interested in expanding the usage of this  
platform to include multiple target hypervisors as well as enhance  
tooling for creating and managing virtual machine images. A partial  
list of additional enhancements includes image management for storing  
and archiving large number of images.

We thank you for your consideration.

Key Features & Goals

Scheduling server resources in a virtualized environment to improve  
hardware and software efficiency.
Expand supported hypervisors to include additional machine  
Security support for multiple roles in managing and gaining access to  
Cloud resources.
Tools to create images to be hosted in the virtual infrastructure.
To construct a REST driven framework for managing virtual computing  
3. Rationale
The current implementation of the Virtual Computing Lab provides  
benefits for NC State University in terms of efficiently managing  
hardware and software resources. It also improves the simplicity to  
distribute images to a wide variety of users in a simplified way thus  
increasing human productivity in the process. Although originally  
focused on academic usage the infrastructure to manage the virtual  
assets have broader applicability for general data processing needs.  
To explore these additional areas NC State wants to bring this project  
to a more general population of developers and users to expand the  
usefulness of the codebase.

In addition, this technology would benefit many organizations that are  
looking to manage a set of physical assets through the application of  
virtual server and image management.

4. Need for a Community Effort
The VCL project at NC State has been very successful at serving the  
needs of the academic community and their unique needs for image  
creation, dispensing, usage and scheduling. To enhance the system for  
broader applicability for hosting other workload types and  
incorporating a diverse set of ideas and driving towards a more  
generalized approach there is a need for developers from commercial,  
academic and other users to be involved in evolving the code base.

5. Known Risks
Commitment to future development. NC State has been actively working  
this code base with other universities since 2004. Enhancements are  
needed as the world of cloud computing evolves. The initial commiters  
listed are actively working on the code base and have a list of  
desired enhancements included later in this proposal.

Experience with open source. Some of the developers have had limited  
involvement in open source projects. They understand that  
collaboration at Apache is community oriented. Working with mentors  
and others at Apache to build a solid community around the code base  
is an understood goal of the project.

Diversity of developer community. The initial code base was developed  
at NC State over a few years with involvement with some local  
universities. There has also been interest and some participation from  
corporate interests. The initial community is made up of individuals  
from 5 universities and one corporation.

Relationship to other Apache projects. There are no Apache projects  
such as VCL is currently involved with although the project uses  
releases from projects such as HTTP. Recent proposals such as Tashi  
have similar goals but not necessarily complete overlap.

7. Source
The seed code from NC State has been in production since 2004 and has  
undergone several changes over that time. It currently serves the  
needs of the Virtual Computing Lab in use at NC State as well as other  
universities in various stages of exploitation.

Access to existing source code can be found here for those interested  
in looking at current project status: 
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