SBIR Phase I: Cloudseal: Software Testing with Deterministic Containers

SBIR Phase I: Cloudseal: Software Testing with Deterministic Containers

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1843634
Agency Tracking Number: 1843634
Amount: $224,444.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2019
Solicitation Year: 2018
Solicitation Topic Code: IT
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
3814 E DEVONSHIRE CT, BLOOMINGTON, IN, 47408
DUNS: 081233049
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Ryan Newton
 (617) 642-8059
 rn@cloudseal.io
Business Contact
 Ryan Newton
Phone: (617) 642-8059
Email: rn@cloudseal.io
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will result from enabling efficient repeatable computing using commodity technology. While computers should, in principle, operate the same way each time, we have all seen how a program that ran fine yesterday somehow crashes today. Our current computing infrastructure betrays its fundamentally unrepeatable nature in a thousand careless ways, by letting processor and operating system details affect how programs run. Popular computing abstractions like containers and virtual machines improve repeatability, but do not provide any guarantees. This project conducts R&D on a new repeatable container, which provides repeatability for arbitrary programs running inside it. Repeatable containers will allow for reproducible software builds, software testing that runs the same on all machines, and faster software debugging with "one click" reproduction of failures. Repeatable containers reduce software development and QA costs. Repeatable containers can also facilitate archiving software and scientific research, and trustless grid computing. This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project involves the development of new container runtime systems that can enforce repeatability with low performance overhead. This project will focus on technical improvements that yield a robust container runtime which can handle a wide range of legacy software that collectively exercises the full range of processor and operating system behaviors. The container will integrate smoothly with both existing container technologies and existing container users, to facilitate easy adoption by software developers. Key technical results will include developing a "fingerprinting" technology to uniquely identify container executions, and a stress-testing methodology to increase confidence that the repeatability guarantee holds. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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

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