SBIR Phase I: Automated Configuration Management for Open Source Applications

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0945232
Agency Tracking Number: 0945232
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: IC
Solicitation Number: NSF 09-541
Small Business Information
PO Box 60192, Sunnyvale, CA, 94088
DUNS: 808536697
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jeffrey Fischer
 (408) 910-6836
Business Contact
 Jeffrey Fischer
Title: PhD
Phone: (408) 910-6836
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project addresses the challenges of installation, configuration, and management for open source applications. Open source software can provide significant business value, but there is a very high barrier to entry due to the technical challenges of installing and managing heterogeneous, independently-developed components with complex inter-dependencies. GenForma is developing a unified framework to automate this process, replacing the labor-intensive, error-prone scripting and manual solutions used currently. Genforma's solution is based on technology that models the configuration settings and dependencies of application components declaratively and uses scalable constraint solving to find optimal installation configurations. In particular, it provides solutions (1) to determine a set of compatible components for an open source stack, (2) to obtain these components, (3) to install them across multiple machines, (4) to adjust configuration settings to make the components work together, and (5) to manage the resulting application. A graphical user interface allows a non-expert user drive this process. This technology allows existing software to be easily deployed to cloud computing and virtualization infrastructure and also to run it on local hardware as if it was in the cloud. Genforma's technology addresses the full software management life cycle (SMLC) including selection, deployment, install, configuration, and management. The company will bring the technology to market via prepackaged solutions for popular open source applications. Open source software is a significant and growing market: popular blog, content management, email, CRM, and ERP applications can have more than 200,000 installations. If successful, the Genforma platform will allow a new class of enterprise applications to be developed and deployed based primarily on open-sourced technology.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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