Month: January 2016

Open source Billing support for CloudStack with Cyclops

Last week the ICCLab’s RCB Initiative released a new Cyclops code base with added support for CloudStack platform. Until last week’s release Cyclops came with native support for OpenStack only. Now Cyclops’ Dashboard can properly associate CloudStack user account details and the Cyclops UDR micro-service can pull CloudStack meters list and associated usage data for further processing by the framework.  Lets take a quick look of this new feature in this demo.

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GUI for Netfloc – An OpenSource SDK for SDN

Inside the Software Defined Networking initiative we are developing a Software Development Kit for SDN, called Netfloc.

NETwork FLOws for Clouds (Netfloc) is a programmable framework solution for software defined datacenter networks. It leverages network management by offering to the network developers a set of libraries packed as Java bundles for the OpenDaylight controller. Netfloc also exposes REST API abstractions and Java interfaces to enable optimal integration in cloud datacenters and customized end-to-end management of OpenFlow equipment. For references and current status, please feel free to visit the Github repository. We will come back with a detailed post on the SDK very soon, so stay tuned.

And yes being the networking guys, we are mainly dealing with command line management in the whole process of development and testing. But only until to date, when we realized that it is time to think as well of the UX side and start a design process for a graphical user interface (GUI) for Netfloc.

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A Tool for Understanding OpenStack Cloud Performance using Stacktach and the OpenStack Notification System

In one of our projects, FICORE the continuation of FIWARE, we need to offer an Openstack-based service. One aspect of service operations is to understand the performance of the system and one particular aspect of this is to understand how long basic operations take; it is interesting to see how this evolves over time as, for example, a system may get more and more loaded. To address this, we first looked at using an approach based on log files but it was not workable as the information regarding an operation is spread across multiple hosts and services. An alternative approach is to use the Openstack notification system where a lot of key events occurring within the system are published – this is a single point for all the information we need. We then used Stacktach to consume, filter and store this data and built a web application on top of it. In this blog post we give a brief overview of the Openstack notification system, the Stacktach filtering tool and the basic web tool we developed.
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Cloudstack support and Event based billing in Cyclops

The RCB initiative is happy to announce that Cyclops, our Rating-Charging-Billing solution for Cloud providers, now supports Cloudstack framework as well as external application specific Event based rating, charging and billing. Not only that, we now have a cool logo as well.


There are several novel features in the pipeline, and as the RCB initiative now has more researchers on board, one can expect to see a faster development and release cycle.

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Announcing 5th Open Cloud Day







We are extremely happy to announce that the 5th Open Cloud Day is going to take place at ZHAW, Winterthur, on the 16th of June this year.

We co-organise the Open Cloud Day with the Swiss Open Systems User Group. The main goal of the event is to foster open clouds and the interoperability of the clouds. We have seen tremendous interest and enthusiasm about this event from Swiss industries. We again welcome our friends from the industry and academia to join us at this event. Continue reading

From unboxing RPLIDAR to running in ROS in 10 minutes flat

We received our RPLIDAR this morning and, just as kids on Christmas day, we were very eager to play with it right away.

But I’ll hold my horses, as I can hear you ask: “and what exactly is a RPLIDAR?”

A RPLIDAR is a low cost LIDAR sensor (i.e., a light-based radar, a “laser scanner”) from Robo Peak suitable for indoor robotic applications. Basically a cheaper version of that weird rotating thing you see on top of the Google self-driving cars. You can use it for collision avoidance and for the robot to quickly figure out what’s around it.

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Title: SCALE-UP: Services for the Swiss Cloud for Academic and Learning Experts

Coordinator: SWITCH


  • Zurich University of Applied Sciences, ZHAW
  • University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Northwestern Switzerland, FHNW
  • Fernfachhochschule Schweiz, FFHS
  • University of Berne, UNIBE
  • University of Basel, UNIBAS
  • Università della Svizzera Italiana, USI
  • École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL
  • University of St.Gallen, UNISG
  • FHS St.Gallen, FHSG

Funded by: CUS 2013-2016 P-2 from swissuniversities Continue reading


Title: Amysta SaaS – A Comprehensive hybrid cloud cost management platform

Industry Partner: Apalia

Research Partner: ICCLab, ZHAW

Funded ByCommission for Technology and Innovation

Cloud computing is increasingly providing the resource and computing needs of businesses and enterprises worldwide. With well known companies adopting a cloud based operating roadmap, the confidence in the business propositions of cloud computing is on an upward trend. While many traditional sectors including banking, health, and public sector’s government services still do not wish to lose complete control on resource management, even they are increasingly adopting virtualization and private cloud deployments to improve utilization. And in between, there are numerous organizations that adopt a middle approach – a combination of in-house infrastructure for critical computational and storage needs while using public clouds for non critical jobs to achieve price benefits and yet keep control on data and processes that they deem critical.

The above analysis is generally valid in all the three cloud service offerings – IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. It is increasingly becoming common for profit driven, agile enterprises to adopt a combination of all of the above – in-house private cloud + public IaaS + PaaS + SaaS solutions to optimize the Return of Investment (RoI).

The common task undertaken by any CEO is optimizing the financial outlay by identifying how each division is using the budget, what is the cost of using the resources and whether there is a synergy among various departments in terms of resource usage or not. With the gradual shift from a fully in house infrastructure to outsourcing some of the computing needs to public providers of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, this task of cost management is increasingly becoming more challenging.

The project aims to research models and algorithms addressing the concerns outlined above.

Martin Skoviera

Collaboration is always a good thing

Martin Skoviera is a researcher at ICCLab, InIT ZHAW, focusing on the Rating-Charging-Billing initiative and its OpenSource solution – Cyclops.

Martin received his Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Master’s degrees in Management and Information Technologies from Brno University of Technology. Martin also has an MBA specialising in International Business and Trade Management from the Ligs University, Prague. He brings his technical as well as business expertise to the RCB team.

In the past Martin was actively involved in the banking sector, developing mobile solutions, and working with both ITIL and COBIT management frameworks. Martin’s first introduction in ZHAW was as an exchange student, where his work centred around Business Engineering and Production.

Martin is now working on the SafeSwissCloud and ScaleUP projects, as well as contributing in the lab’s EU projects – TNova and MCN.

Contact: martin.skoviera[at]

Service Engineering Highlights 2015

The year 2016 has arrived. I hope you had an excellent time with family for the Christmas and New Year celebrations and are prepared for 2016 with vigour and motivation.

Looking back at the year 2015, we witnessed a plethora of events around the world that will shape a different tomorrow. Detrimental changes in technology, politics, weather that moves or pushes humanity to a new era, sometimes bringing positive changes and some occurrences forcing a step backwards. Continue reading