New Internet Computing Lab (NICL)

NICL explores system software infrastructures for the New Internet. We focus on hosting platforms for network services, including network computing and network storage. In particular, our research deals with networked utility systems that share and provision a virtualizable resource substrate (computers, network elements, storage) on demand for a wide range of networked services. Hosted services (guests) can include computational grids and cloud computing middleware and also new kinds of networked systems that run the substrate resources under their control in entirely different ways. We proposed the notion of computing on a "server cloud" in talks in 2001-2002 (Servers in the Mist [PDF]) and it has been a cornerstone of our research agenda ever since.

A key research challenge is to build autonomic services and cloud control systems that can manage themselves and hold human administrative burdens constant as the system scales. The real promise of networked cloud computing is to enable dynamic, adaptive network application services that can deploy wherever resources are available and demand exists, and can sense-and-respond to adapt automatically to changes in traffic demands or resource conditions.

If we are successful, utility substrates and control services will evolve into an open public infrastructure requiring flexible, secure, robust, and decentralized control. The control architecture must resolve the "tussle" of contending demands, changing priorities, and rapidly advancing technology, all within the framework of a self-sustaining system.



Faculty and Staff

Collaboratoring faculty at Duke: Staff:

Graduate Students

Recently graduated PhD students:


We are grateful to the National Science Foundation for our major funding. NSF has funded our work most recently through: We are also grateful to IBM Corporation for funding Orca-related research through several Faculty Awards and SUR equipment grants from 2003-2008. HP and Network Appliance have also funded predecessors of the project.