FI-PPP FI-WARE (KIARA)

Today, it is fair to say that nearly any application depends on distributed and service-based computing of some sort. This is most apparent in the mobile and cloud computing areas but this trend is quickly affecting essentially all areas of computing. Despite this natural and comprehensive demand, most interestingly, there is to date no established middleware that provides dependable high-performance over a wide range of configurations and deployments, offers rich in- built QoS and Security features, while at the same time facilitating the development of diverse applications across a wide range of heterogeneous devices, infrastructures, systems, and domains.This mismatch between supply and demand became early and especially apparent within FI-WARE (www.fi-ware), which is developing a large-scale, distributed, cross-technology Future Internet platform for a large set Use Case projects in different application domains.

The goal of KIARA is to provide a “Middleware for efficient and QoS/Security- aware invocation of services and exchange of messages”for the FI-PPP program and beyond. KIARA builds on top of a well-established, proven, and high-performance product RTI-DDS from RTI and combines it with innovative research results to provide an advanced middleware layer that targets the specific requirements of the Future Internet.

KIARA improves on the state-of-the art in multiple ways:

  • KIARA provides radical improvements in performance and scalability not only for traditional Web services, but also for distributed applications in general – ranging from tiny devices in the Internet of Things to high-performance computing applications.
  • KIARA improves developer productivity and greatly simplifies application integration using a simple-to-use IDL for specifying the communication contract between peers as well as a novel API that allows applications to communicate in terms of their own data structures.
  • KIARA dynamically and transparently selects the optimal communication mechanisms, protocols, and data representations to be used between two peers, including the traditional SOAP/REST protocols but also optimized binary formats and mechanisms like pointer forwarding, shared memory, and the use of specialized network infrastructures. An embedded compiler dynamically at run-time generates highly optimized code that transfers messages directly from application data structures to the network.
  • KIARA uses simple, high-level specifications of QoS and security requirements from the application for automatically selecting the best communication strategy, thus clearly separating the high-level concerns of the application/developer from the concrete and varying technical details, such as the available network and other capabilities and resources.
  • KIARA, for the first time, uses a “Secure By Design” approach for of the communication architecture, thus trying to eliminate network connections as the dominant source of security threats.

This combination of a well-proven, existing middleware product with unique features based on latest research results forms an ideal basis for efficient and QoS/security-aware communication within FI-WARE, the FI-PPP program, and for general distributed applications.

KIARA Architecture Sketch based on RTI-DDS

KIARA is a European research project funded by the European Commission. As winner of the FI-WARE Open Call 1 for additional beneficiaries it is an integral part of the FI-WARE project. It runs over a period of 20 Month with a total investment of roughly 1.6M Euro.

Partners are

– Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften (ZHAW) – Coordinator
– Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH (DFKI)
– Universität des Saarlandes – Center for IT Security, Privacy and Accountability (USAAR-CISPA)
– Proyectos y Sistemas de Mantenimiento SL (EPROS)