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Broker@Cloud

Broker@Cloud

Published 03 July 2015

As enterprises increasingly adopt the model of cloud computing, the enterprise IT environment is progressively transformed into a matrix of interwoven infrastructure, platform and application services which are delivered from diverse service providers. To help enterprises deal with the overwhelming complexity of consuming large numbers of cloud services from diverse providers, future enterprise cloud service delivery platforms will need to implement a wide array of sophisticated brokerage-enabling capabilities, which will give rise to services that go far beyond anything currently offered by today’s cloud intermediaries.

Broker@Cloud Logo
Broker@Cloud Logo

Broker@Cloud is a EU FP7 collaborative project, which started in November 2012. The main goal of Broker@Cloud is to deliver a brokerage framework which will allow cloud intermediaries to equip their platforms with advanced methods and mechanisms for continuous quality assurance and optimization of software-based enterprise cloud services.

Understanding the implications of introducing continuous quality assurance and optimisation in enterprise cloud service broker

  • Broker@Cloud will take up the challenge of researching and developing solutions with respect to some of the most valuable and technically demanding types of brokerage capabilities foreseen: continuous quality assurance and optimisation.
  • The starting point is to develop a thorough understanding of the functional and non-functional requirements that our brokerage framework should address, and implications with respect to integrating such a framework in enterprise cloud service delivery platforms.
  • An additional aim is to confirm and to update our present understanding of the relevant theoretical frameworks, techniques and open source tools that can be employed as the basis for the development of the framework components.

Agreeing on a set of specifications for the Broker@Cloud framework architecture and its interfaces to enterprise cloud service delivery platforms

This objective concerns the development of a conceptual architecture for the brokerage framework that identifies its core components and their functions, and the specification of the interfaces through which the framework could interact with the enterprise cloud service delivery platforms in which it is to be embedded.

The main effort in relation to this objective will be on the specification of the conceptual architecture and the components for continuous quality assurance and optimisation, as well as the iterative specification of the APIs by which a cloud service delivery platform should be equipped in order to be capable of being integrated with the envisaged brokerage framework.


Developing a set of methods and tools for creating platform-neutral descriptions of enterprise cloud services to facilitate continuous quality assurance and optimization.

This objective concerns the development of platform-neutral methods by which enterprise cloud services can be described to provide for all the necessary information upon which the mechanisms for continuous quality assurance and optimisation can reason. Platform-neutral service descriptions represent a cross-cutting concern to the continuos quality assurance and optimization mechanism as they serve as interoperable data exchange mechanism. To achieve this objective the project will:

  • capitalise on the many person-years of effort that have already been invested into the development of USDL (Unified Service Description Language) and its successor Linked USDL and will leverage results from several past and on-going projects[1] working on developing the language[2], extensions to the language (e.g. USDL-SLA), and supporting open source tools (e.g. USDL editor, USDL repository, USDL marketplace).
  • create extensions under coordination of SAP Research who initiated the work on USDL and continues to be the main driving force for its further development. The other main research partners will contribute with respect to specific language/method/tool extensions necessary to support the continuous quality assurance and optimization capabilities sought.
  • evaluate results against requirements obtained through an iterative process of requirements analysis per different type of mechanism for continuous quality assurance and optimisation, developing the necessary extensions, and testing with the respective mechanisms. The prototypes to be developed will be revisited to address the issues which are bound to emerge during the phase of validation against the two pilot cloud platforms of CAS and SILO.

Developing a set of methods and mechanisms for enabling continuous cloud service governance and quality control

  • This objective concerns the development of mechanisms to help enterprise cloud service brokers perform governance and continuous quality control over the software-based services they deliver.
  • Efforts will be focused on (i) developing improved methods to represent governance policies and governed resources and improved mechanisms to reason about the compliance of cloud services to the governance policies, and (ii) novel, brokerage-focused methods to ensure that cloud services conform to target functional specifications so that they can be certified.

Developing a set of methods and mechanisms for enabling continuous cloud service failure prevention and recovery

  • This objective concerns the development of mechanisms enabling cloud service brokers to provide continuous failure prevention and recovery through proactive and reactive failure detection, as well as reasoning about the appropriate preventive and recovery actions.
  • The main effort in relation to this objective will be on the development of methods and mechanisms for (i) identifying and analysing impending failures and failures that have already occurred, and (ii) deciding and recommending proactive and reactive adaptation actions in order to allow for failure prevention and recovery.

Developing a set of methods and mechanisms for enabling continuous optimization of cloud service delivery

  • This objective concerns the development of mechanisms to enable enterprise cloud service brokers to continuously identify opportunities for optimizing the set of services consumed by an enterprise with respect to different goals like cost, quality, and functionality.
  • The main effort in relation to this objective will be on the development of methods and mechanisms for identifying and analysing optimization opportunities through fuzzy and linguistic multi-criteria decision making methods with the aim to issue optimisation recommendations in a continuous way.

Validating the results through two case studies on the introduction of brokerage capabilities in platforms for the delivery of software-based enterprise cloud services

Broker@Cloud aims at the validation of project results through two pilot case studies. Therefore, the pilot cloud platforms CAS Open and SingularLogic Orbi will be extended by implementing the interfaces required by the brokerage framework and by describing their enterprise clouds services using methods already defined. Both platforms will integrate the brokerage framework mechanisms and provide a complete instance for testing. The evaluation will take place in two iterations, allowing for interleaved bug correction or improvements to the prototype mechanisms, and finally, documenting the results and lessons learned.


Consortium:

  • CAS Software AG
  • Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS)
  • SAP
  • SingularLogic
  • SINTEF
  • South-East European Research Centre (SEERC)
  • The University of Sheffield

Contact:
Joe Gorman (Project Coordinator), SINTEF, Trondheim, Norway, Joe.Gorman@sintef.no

Project duration

01/11/2012 - 31/12/2015