In an era that Internet of Things (IoT) applications are getting increasingly dynamic and mobile, the Achilles heel of such efforts remains the management of the application state (e.g., consistency, availability, performance, fault tolerance). For stateless applications, functionalities like load balancing (active-active), failover (active-passive), and job continuity (roaming) are easily addressable at the network level. For stateful applications though, the developers must provision a clustered data layer for managing the ever-growing collections of geographically spread data. This layer needs to provide geo-transparent data access, integrate well with the interplay of backend services, and be tailored (described by structure and purpose and expressed in functionality) to the specific application requirements. Over the last few years, research efforts are mainly focused on security, privacy, confidentiality, energy efficiency, and reliability of storage systems. An important aspect that has not been thoroughly investigated yet is programmability. To keep pace with the increasing birthday of new application models it is essential to pass the technological barrier of 'programming storage systems' and enter the age of 'composing storage systems'. So far, no competent solution has been proposed either by industry or academia. Herein, we propose an open-source development ecosystem intended for engineers and researchers looking to invent, build, verify, evaluate, and release storage systems, tailored on a per-application basis. The ecosystem, called Ether, consists of i) the virtualized storage platform for managing application state whose data are spread across heterogeneous services provided by third-party vendors ii) the virtualization framework for specifying the control flows and the data management of the platform, as hierarchies of virtual functions iii) and the community hub for sharing virtual functions, platform configurations, or best practises.
Frontiers are dynamic zones of resistance and negotiation where local actors respond to the political/economic fluctuations of expanding states. Research on Europe’s frontier zones in the historic past has immediate relevance to the modern economic and political landscape, where the expansion of transnational markets is creating new dynamic frontier zones. Yet due to the typical top-down approach employed by archaeologists and historians, the local experience of living in a frontier has been largely overlooked. EUROFRONT adopts an innovative four-field methodology (archaeology, history, geomatics, and ethnography) to investigate two European frontiers in Crete and Dalmatia. Rich datasets will be developed for each region, synthesizing archaeological data, archival materials (e.g. tax registers and cadastral maps), paleoclimate data, and modern oral histories about villages in the regions. Advanced geospatial analyses will be used to detect patterns in population movement, settlement distribution, network connection, and agricultural production. During the project, the researcher will be trained in cutting-edge geomatics technologies, and the skills and knowledge she gains will enhance her reputation as a leading scholar of Early Modern archaeology and history in Europe. Results of the study will provide insight into how frontier communities are shaped by the process of state expansion from an economical, social, political, and environmental perspective. Project dissemination will prioritize publication of the raw data, training other scholars, and sparking an international dialogue about frontier zones that transects geographical and temporal boundaries. The project website and interactive online GIS will be critical deliverables that not only promote the study of frontiers but also give voice to the local experience through publication of maps, photographs, and interviews with local residents.