Watcher leaves the nest!

This month, more than 400 members of the OpenStack community gathered in Atlanta. Two people from b<>com were on-site to host debates about Watcher*. This was a chance for us to talk with David Tardivel, recently named Director of the Cloud Computing Laboratory at b<>com, on his team's new projects.

Could you tell us a little about the Atlanta meet-up?

The purpose of last week's event was to meet with developers of the OpenStack community in order to discuss future changes to Watcher for the new version of OpenStack (Pike). It takes place mid-way between two Summits; the last was held in Barcelona in October, and the next will be in Boston in May. Since it has been working on new projects, the b<>com team took the opportunity of the event to officially pass the baton on Watcher.

What's the future of Watcher?

Conceived three years ago at b<>com, the first stable version is now available and it's a great achievement for our lab and about forty developers have joined us in this adventure! The plan is to get Watcher in pre-production in the first half of 2017, at Walmart, NEC, and ZTE. Future changes are now in the hands of the OpenStack community, but the lab will nonetheless continue sharing its technical expertise on the current version. And of course we intend to rely on Watcher's results for our own upcoming work!

Speaking of which, what new projects is the lab coming up with?

Since early January, we have worked on setting up a collaborative platform between private datacenters? In concrete terms, a private cloud infrastructure supplier can provide resources they're not using internally onto our platform, and offer them to other users at a price set by a marketplace. This is an alternative to the hybrid cloud and an opportunity to create a collaborative platform with local and/or national players, for example.

What will be this project's fields of exploration?

Besides the collaborative platform to be developed, we will rely on blockchain technology to validate and track transactions. There will also be a major challenge in making access to collaborative shared resources secure. To remedy this, we'll work in connection with the Network Architecture laboratory. Finally, we'll continue our research on optimizing resources used in a data-center - in order to put as many unused resources on the marketplace as possible - in part with the help of Watcher.

* Watcher: OpenStack cluster resource optimization service (