Home Prospectus
Call for Membership in the

National Science Foundation Cloud and Autonomic Computing Center

The University of Florida; The University of Arizona; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and Mississippi State University

Director: Dr. Jose Fortes, 352-392-9265, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Dr. Salim Hariri, 520-621-4378, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Dr. Dario Pompili, 732-445-5388, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Dr. Ioana Banicescu, 662-325-7508, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The University of Florida; the University of Arizona; Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; and Mississippi State University invite industry representatives to join the Cloud and Autonomic Computing (CAC) Center, a center funded by the Industry/University Cooperative Research Center program of the National Science Foundation, CAC members from industry and government, and university matching funds. Operation of the center began in January 2008, having received more than 15 commitments from industry members; the Mississippi State University site was added in July 2010. Companies and government agencies interested in participating in the center are invited to become members. To download a PDF image of this prospectus, please click here.


  • To function as a multidisciplinary center of excellence in autonomic computing research fostering long-term collaborative partnerships amongst industry, academe, and government;
  • To discover, share and leverage synergies of concepts, technologies and resources needed by industry-relevant autonomic computing research in collaboration with CAC partners;
  • To educate a diverse body of students on the interdisciplinary field of autonomic computing;
  • To accelerate the creation and transfer of knowledge and technology for autonomic computing into industry and commercial products.

Benefits of Membership

CAC members are afforded access to leading-edge developments in autonomic computing and to knowledge accumulated by academic researchers and other industry partners. New members will join a growing list of founding members that currently includes the US Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), Intel, Microsoft, Raytheon, Xerox, and Avirtec. Benefits of membership include:
  • Collaboration with faculty, graduate students, post-doctoral researchers and other center partners;
  • Choice of project topics to be funded by members’ own contributions;
  • Formal periodic project reviews along with continuous informal interaction and timely access to reports, papers and intellectual property generated by the center;
  • Access to unique world-class equipment, facilities, and other CAC infrastructure;
  • Recruitment opportunities among excellent graduate students;
  • Leveraging of investments, projects and activities by all CAC members;
  • Professional networking with new customers or partners for competitive funding opportunities.

Technical Scope

The scope of the CAC center broadly encompasses cloud computing systems and applications and the use of autonomic computing methods for the management of these and other IT systems. CAC activities on cloud computing cut across several layers of IT systems, including: hardware platforms for computing, storage and networking; design of data centers that aggregate platforms to provide cloud services; systems software and distributed computing middleware providing programming interfaces and management primitives within and across multiple cloud data centers; applications that leverage the on-demand and scalable nature of cloud platforms; and cyber-security. CAC activities on autonomic computing focus on methods, architectures and technologies for the design, implementation, integration and evaluation of computing systems and applications that are capable of achieving desired behaviors without the involvement of users or administrators. At the intersection of cloud computing and autonomic computing, the center's activities aim to achieve self-management capabilities within and across the layers of cloud computing systems and applications in order to enable independent operation, minimize cost and risk, accommodate complexity and uncertainty, and enable systems of systems with large numbers of components.


Research at the CAC universities is undertaken by faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers from multiple disciplines including electrical engineering, computer engineering/science, and mechanical engineering. Industry and government partners are welcome to have researchers in residence at the Center or as temporary visitors to campus making use of its facilities.

Administrative Structure

The Director of the Center is Dr. José A. B. Fortes, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the University of Florida (UF), and the Co-Directors are Dr. Salim Hariri, Professor of ECE at the University of Arizona (UA); Dr. Manish Parashari, Professor of ECE at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; and Dr. Ioana Banicescu, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Mississippi State University (MSU). The Site Director at the University of Florida is Dr. Renato Figueiredo, Professor of ECE; the Site Director at the University of Arizona is Dr. Ali Akoglu, Professor of ECE, and Dr. Dario Pompili, Professor of ECE, is the Site Director at Rutgers University. The Industry Advisory Board (IAB) for CAC is comprised of representatives from the industry and government members and is responsible for oversight of center activities, review of ongoing and completed projects, as well as resource assignments for new projects. The center is fully supported by dedicated staff at each university site, and by the University Policy Committee, composed of administrators from each school. Finally, NSF provides for an independent evaluator drawn from outside the participating academic departments, who is responsible for formal evaluation of the Center, its operations and processes, and its partnerships with industry and government.


Major existing facilities in the advanced computing and information systems research labs at UF, UA, Rutgers and MSU support the operation of the CAC Center. At present, facilities include cutting-edge computer systems and software infrastructure mirroring state-of-the-art capabilities found in industry settings. Unique capabilities include upwards of 500 computing nodes based on Intel Xeon, AMD Opteron, IBM Power and SUN Sparc systems, 50 Terabytes of storage, commercial and open-source OS software and middleware for virtualization, database management, Web services, grid computing, P2P computing, etc. CAC resources are locally and externally connected via high-speed networks. Deployment of a distributed, shared instrumented testbed for center-wide experimental research on cross-layer data center autonomics is currently underway. 
(Click here to see more details on CAC facilities at the University of Florida site)


Per NSF guidelines, industry and government contributions in the form of annual CAC memberships ($35K/year per regular membership), coupled with baseline funds from NSF and university matching funds, directly support the Center's expenses for personnel, equipment, travel, and supplies. Memberships provide funds to support the Center's graduate students on a one-to-one basis, and thus the size of the annual membership fee is directly proportional to the cost of supporting one graduate student, while NSF and university funds support various other costs of operation. Multiple annual memberships may be contributed by any organization wishing to support multiple students and/or projects. The annual operating budget for CAC is over $1M, including NSF and universities' contributions, in an academic environment that is very cost effective. Thus, a single regular membership is an exceptional value. It represents less than 3% of the projected annual budget of the Center yet reaps the full benefit of Center activities, a research program that could be significantly more expensive in an industry or government facility.
To download a PDF image of the CAC brochure, please click here