Recently there are some blogs mentioning Orleans as the new platform for the Microsoft cloud and additional similar things. As a result I checked a bit on what the project is all about and as it was published this is a MSR (Microsoft Research Project) that has been in development with the Cloud Computing Futures Group (CCF). CCF is focused on reducing the operational costs of data centers and increasing their adaptability and resilience to failure  as stated in the article on the Microsoft Research Site. Or even more officially from their web site:

“…The Cloud Computing Futures work begins with a key concept: the data center is a computer, and it must be designed and programmed as an integrated system. This means examining all aspects of data centers from first principles….”

If you reed through the interview with the leader of the group, Dan Reed, you can notice the following (excerpts):

“… We have been working with researchers from Microsoft Research on several approaches to data-center networking. The most mature of these is Monsoon, which uses much of the existing networking hardware but replaces the software with a new set of communications protocols far better suited for a data center. This work will not only lead to more efficient networks, but by relaxing the constraints of existing networks, it also will open new possibilities to simplify data-center software and to build more robust platforms.

  • Orleans software platform: The software that runs in the data center is a complicated, distributed system. It must handle a vast number of requests from across the globe, and the computers on which the software runs fail regularly—but the service itself should not fail, even though the software is continually changing as the service evolves and new features are added. Orleans is a new software platform that runs on Microsoft’s Windows® Azure™ system and provides the abstractions, programming languages, and tools that make it easier to build cloud services.
  • Future cloud applications: To test the CCF hardware prototypes and the Orleans software platform, we are exploring future application scenarios that go beyond our current cloud workloads. These scenarios integrate many ideas from across Microsoft in areas such as computer vision, virtual reality, and natural-language processing.

So as you can see, Orleans is running on our cloud platform, but will (my opinion) optimize processing of the request in the cloud (distributed) systems… Probably good stuff and great to have somebody thinking about how to move everything further and further!

Check out the MSR guys, they have other good project in place… remember my post on Bioinformatics in the Cloud – well guess which group has done the AzureBLAST part.

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