LISA '03 Abstract
Pp. 181-194 of the Proceedings
Virtual Appliances for Deploying and Maintaining Software
Constantine Sapuntzakis, David Brumley, Ramesh Chandra, Nickolai Zeldovich, Jim Chow, Monica S. Lam, and Mendel Rosenblum, Stanford University
This paper attempts to address the complexity of system
administration by making the labor of applying software updates
independent of the number of computers on which the software is run.
Complete networks of machines are packaged up as data; we refer to
them as virtual appliances. The publisher of an appliance
controls the software installed on the appliance, from the operating
system to the applications, and is responsible for keeping the
appliance up to date. These appliances can be configured by users to
fit their needs; the configuration is captured such that it can be
reapplied automatically when the appliance's software is updated. We
have developed a compute utility, called the Collective, which assigns
virtual appliances to hardware dynamically and automatically. By
keeping software up to date, our approach prevents security break-ins
due to fixed vulnerabilities.
This paper presents the concept of virtual networks of virtual
appliances and describes our prototype of the Collective Utility. We
demonstrate the feasibility of our approach by creating appliances for
groupware servers, Windows desktop environments, and software
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