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Virtualization and Systems Management

The Virtualization and Systems Management group focuses on advanced and autonomic management aspects of cloud computing, as a part of the IBM Blue Cloud initiative.  In particular, we are working in the area of the cloud software infrastructure, where we combine new ideas to exploit virtualization and innovative systems management techniques. We believe that Virtualization and Systems Management will be primary enabling technologies to make cloud computing become a marketplace reality.

The group's activities in this area influence a wide range of IBM system products and services, including IBM's xSeries systems (with a focus on blade servers), IBM's pSeries systems,  IBM systems management and more.  We collaborate with several teams from IBM research and contribute to productization work of IBM development peers. We are also collaborating on cloud computing technologies as IBM CloudBurst and the EU FP7 project Reservoir which was led by our department.

One of our major activities is the Advanced System Pool Management. System Pool, a key concept of the IBM Blue Cloud Initiative, is a cluster of similar servers with virtualization capabilities. The System Pool concept greatly simplifies the management complexity of the new cloud-based data centers by providing a single smart entity that encapsulates 100s of servers and 1000s of workloads running inside it. We are integrating advanced technologies of various domains (performance, placement, security, networking, high availability, energy management) to create a highly autonomic and optimized System Pool. The System Pool concept is a key function of IBM VMControl, part of the IBM Systems Director product.

In a related project, we are focusing on the network optimization aspects of workloads deployed into system pools, in which the network configuration itself can be dynamically optimized to accommodate the workloads' requirements. In addition, this configuration can factor the network aspects into the placement optimization of workloads in the pool.

In another activity, called DDF (Director Diagnostic Facility), we are developing a tool that helps in automatic identification and fixing of issues that might be encountered in a large-scale distributed system management tool. such as IBM Systems Director.

In a joint project with IBM Global Technology Services, called Darwin, we are developing an automation tool for cloud migration, which will help in large-scale migration of customer's applications into the cloud by automating large parts of the process.

We are also participating in the EU project ENSURE, which deals with long-term data preservation. Our focus in this project is the exploitation of storage cloud and virtualization technologies.

We are also active in the area of IT simplification and user experience in which we address the new cloud management systems and tools that involve complex policy-based functionality.


Past Activities


Ofer Biran, Manager Virtualization and Systems Management, IBM Research - Haifa

: Manager Virtualization and Systems Management, IBM Research - Haifa