Technology Readiness Levels, Impact of Science, and the “Valley of Death”

I have recently attended an excellent 2-day workshop on proposal writing for the european commission's new research funding programme, Horizon 2020, given by Dr. Sean McCarthy from Hyperion. I won't write about the nitty-gritty details of proposal writing here, but one thing I got to know more as a sidenote in this seminar are Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs). Essentially, any technological development can be associated with a TRL between 1 ("we have observed that this happens, but we do not even know why and how it happens") and 9 ("this is used in working real-life applications on the market"). The concrete details of the stages in between vary a bit depending on who you ask, but the figure below represents the 9 TRL levels as seen by the european commission: (figure…
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Fixing the RUBiS Benchmark for Modern Linux Environments

One of my current research pet ideas is benchmarking cloud providers. For one paper that I currently have in progress, I wanted to compare our benchmarking results with a standard Web benchmark. For this, I chose RUBiS. RUBiS is a quite well-established benchmark in the scientific community, with 300+ citations on Google Scholar. As Joseph of Arimathea would say: I chose poorly. Very quickly after downloading the benchmark source code, it became evident that making this thing run in the year 2013 was not going to be a piece of cake: Hard-coded paths everywhere: check Very little useful documentation: check Quite obvious bugs in the source code: check Additionally: Original target Java version: 1.3 Original target PHP version: probably 4.X Original target MySQL version: pre-5.0 Used build tool: make (not Maven, not even Ant.…
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