Check out the new USENIX Web site.

USENIX Home . About USENIX . Events . membership . Publications . Students
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 development environments.

  • View the full text of this paper in HTML or PDF.
    Click here if you have forgotten your password Until October 2004, you will need your USENIX membership identification in order to access the full papers. The Proceedings are published as a collective work, © 2003 by the USENIX Association. All Rights Reserved. Rights to individual papers remain with the author or the author's employer. Permission is granted for the noncommercial reproduction of the complete work for educational or research purposes. USENIX acknowledges all trademarks within this paper.

  • If you need the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it from Adobe's site.

To become a USENIX Member, please see our Membership Information.

?Need help? Use our Contacts page.

Last changed: 7 Nov. 2003 aw
Technical Program
LISA '03 Home