Authors: Young-Hyun Oh
Addresses: Emerging Technology Institute, IBM Cloud, Durham, NC, USA
Abstract: Apache virtual computing lab (VCL) is a free, open-source and general-purpose cloud computing platform that can support various types of provisioning modules including physical bare-metal machines, lab computers and virtual machines hosted on several different hypervisors. Since VCL originally started to support class environment by sharing the computing infrastructure, it has been adopted by many universities as their cloud platform. However, the continuous availability is still challenging and critical for the universities to handle increasing demand. To increase the availability and utilisation of VCL, this paper presents a new development of a Docker provisioning module for VCL that can take the advantages of the state-of-the-art containerisation technique. Unlike traditional hypervisor virtualisation, Docker removes the overhead for the additional emulation or hypervisor layer. Instead Docker adds an application deployment engine on top of the virtualised container execution environment and uses the host operating system's normal system call interface to run containers. This means that a Docker container can spin off almost immediately and do not require additional disk space for its guest operating system. Thus, our Docker provisioning module for VCL can both provide faster provisioning time and efficient disk management than other hypervisor-based VCL provisioning modules.
Keywords: virtual computing lab; VCL; Docker; containerisation; provisioning; cloud computing platform.
International Journal of Cloud Computing, 2017 Vol.6 No.4, pp.384 - 392
Accepted: 07 Sep 2017
Published online: 23 Feb 2018 *