News Column

Researchers Submit Patent Application, "Master Automation Service", for Approval

August 7, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- From Washington, D.C., VerticalNews journalists report that a patent application by the inventors KANNAN, Hariharan (San Jose, CA); MAHAPATRA, Akshaya (San Jose, CA); MULQUEENEY, Jr., John J. (San Bruno, CA); STONER, Thaddeus (Clearwater, FL); OLSZEWSKI, David (Campbell, CA), filed on January 16, 2013, was made available online on July 24, 2014.

The patent's assignee is VCE Company LLC.

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Embodiments of the present invention generally relate to managing computing resources. More specifically, embodiments of the invention provide a virtual template service used to dynamically control the configuration and/or state of multiple data center systems simultaneously.

"Generally, in a virtualized computing environment, such as a data center hosting thousands of computing servers, virtual machine instances (VMs) are configured to run on one or more host computers. Each virtual machine uses CPU and memory resources of a host computer and runs its own operating system and application programs. Doing so allows each virtual machine to appear to operate as a separate, stand-alone computing system. An administrator of the virtualized environment can designate the amount of CPU and memory resources provisioned for each of the virtual machines on a host computer. In some virtualized environments, administrative tools are used to start, stop, and configure each virtual machine instance individually. Further, administrative tools may monitor resource usage on different host computers and provide load-balancing services at a level of virtual machine instances. Such software migrates virtual machines from one host computer to another, e.g., from a busy host computer to one that has excess capacity.

"While managing the virtual and physical computing systems, along with the associated networking and storage systems hardware in a data center, it is often necessary to do a mass configuration update or to individually send the same command to multiple devices (whether physical or virtual devices). For example, enterprise solutions/applications today often include multiple virtual machines configured with common characteristics, e.g., a group of virtual machines may share a common operating system (OS), networking configuration, e.g., subnet, domain, and DNS assignments, and applications.

"To provide a web-service, for example, one group of VMs having one configuration could provide web servers, while a second group could provide application servers, and a third could provide database systems. Further, each group could be configured to be part of a distinct subnet within the data center network. If the subnet needs to be changed for one of these groups, however, each machine in that group must be reconfigured individually or a one-off script composed to make the change to the affected group. Similarly, assume the web-server application is upgraded and requires changes to the configuration of the virtualized CPUs in the second group of VMs (e.g., to provide more dedicated processing capabilities). In such a case, each virtual machine in the web-server group would have to be reconfigured individually or a scripts written to perform this specific operation. A variety of other configuration requirements or administrative operations frequently need to be performed across multiple virtual machines, hypervisors managing the virtual machines on a given host, or the configuration of the hosts themselves. A similar issue arises for other data center computing resources. For example, a group of networking switches (physical or virtual) or other networking infrastructure within a data center may need to be updated with the same configuration changes.

"In each of these cases, a variety of administrative applications may be used to individually configure (and reconfigure) each virtual machine, or other data center computing resource. However, doing so can require requires substantial time to complete a simple change."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Embodiments presented herein include a method for managing computing resources. This method may generally include monitoring a designated computing resource for an occurrence a specified command to be performed by the designated computing resource. Upon determining the command has been sent to the designated computing resource, one or more computing resources linked to the designated computing resource may be identified. Additionally, the specified command is performed on each of the one or more computing resources linked to the designated computing resource.

"Other embodiments include, without limitation, a computer-readable medium that includes instructions that enable a processing unit to implement one or more aspects of the disclosed methods as well as a system having a processor, memory, and application programs configured to implement one or more aspects of the disclosed methods.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"So that the manner in which the above recited features of the present invention can be understood in detail, a more particular description of the invention, briefly summarized above, may be had by reference to embodiments, some of which are illustrated in the appended drawings. It is to be noted, however, that the appended drawings illustrate only typical embodiments of this invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope, for the invention may admit to other equally effective embodiments.

"FIG. 1 illustrates an integrated computing platform configured for providing a virtualized environment, according to one embodiment.

"FIG. 2 illustrates a master automation system configured to replicate changes made to a master object to a set of linked computing resources, according to one embodiment.

"FIG. 3 illustrates a reference example of a virtual machine instance used as a virtual template for a set of linked virtual machine instances, according to one embodiment.

"FIG. 4 illustrates a method for configuring a master object to use for replicating configuration and/or state changes to a set of linked computing resources, according to one embodiment of the present disclosure.

"FIG. 5 illustrates a method for replicating changes made to a master object to a group of linked computing resources, according to one embodiment.

"To facilitate understanding, identical reference numerals are occasionally used to designate common figure elements. It is contemplated that elements disclosed in one embodiment may be beneficially used in other embodiments without specific recitation."

For additional information on this patent application, see: KANNAN, Hariharan; MAHAPATRA, Akshaya; MULQUEENEY, Jr., John J.; STONER, Thaddeus; OLSZEWSKI, David. Master Automation Service. Filed January 16, 2013 and posted July 24, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=143&p=3&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140717.PD.&OS=PD/20140717&RS=PD/20140717

Keywords for this news article include: Software, Web Server, VCE Company LLC.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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