Open postdoc position: deployment and dynamic reconfiguration of cloud applications in heterogeneous clouds

 NOTE: this position has been taken and is no longer available.


The University of Rennes 1 (France) has an open position for a Postdoctoral researcher in the domain of cloud computing.

Title: deployment and dynamic reconfiguration of cloud applications in heterogeneous clouds


Cloud computing systems are currently composed of large numbers of relatively inexpensive computers, interconnected by standard IP routers and supported by stock disk drives. However, many demanding applications have now reached a fundamental limit in their ability to scale out using traditional machines. Future performance improvements will derive from the use of high-end specialized equipment in addition to standard hardware: GPUs of course, but also FPGAs, programmable routers, and advanced storage technologies. In this context the European project HARNESS investigates: (i) how cloud providers may offer such extremely heterogeneous hardware to its users; and (ii) how cloud customers may make use of these heterogeneous resources to run their applications such that they exhibit the best possible price-performance tradeoff.


The postdoctoral research will investigate the ways to describe flexible applications capable of executing on a variety of heterogeneous hardware resources. We envisage component-based architectures where an application may provide multiple versions of the same component dedicated to different hardware platforms. The researcher will investigate and build mechanisms to deploy such applications in heterogeneous clouds, and to dynamically reconfigure an application while it is executing. For example, an application may start over a set of conventional virtual machines, but when load increases it becomes more efficient to dynamically re-deploy it over an FPGA. The work will be based on ConPaaS, an open-source Platform-as-a-Service environment developed in another project. This position implies tight collaboration with other partners of the HARNESS project, who are in charge of offering access to a variety of heterogeneous hardware devices.

Note: This position is funded by the HARNESS European project. It will be realized in close collaboration with the other members of the HARNESS project: Imperial College London, EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland), Zuse Institute Berlin, SAP (the world leader of e-business solutions), and Maxeller (an FPGA manufacturer). Note that this consortium is of exceptionally high quality.

Required qualifications:

  • A PhD in large-scale distributed systems, Cloud computing or high-performance computing
  • Excellent programming skills in Linux environments
  • Good communication and writing skills
  • Good command of English
  • Knowledge of French is not required for this position.

Start date: November 1st 2012. The position is offered for a period of 1 year, renewable up to a maximum of three years.

Location: Rennes is the capital city of Britanny, in the western part of France. It is easy to reach thanks to the high-speed train line to Paris. Rennes is a lively city and a major center for higher education and research. The thesis will take place within the IRISA research center, which is internationally recognized for its research in the domain of information and communication sciences.

Contact: Guillaume Pierre ( Please send a CV, transcripts of grades, and a description of your previous achievements in a domain close to cloud computing.

Submission deadline: July 1st 2012.


ConPaaS: a Platform for Hosting Elastic Cloud Applications. Guillaume Pierre and Corina Stratan. Accepted for publication in IEEE Internet Computing, 2012 (to appear).

Resource Provisioning of Web Applications in Heterogeneous Clouds. Jiang Dejun, Guillaume Pierre and Chi-Hung Chi. In Proceedings of the WebApps Conference, June 2011.

Autonomous Resource Provisioning for Multi-Service Web Applications. Jiang Dejun, Guillaume Pierre and Chi-Hung Chi. In Proceedings of the International WWW conference, April 2010.

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