MOSAIC

Title: MOSAIC – Monitored Platform for Container-Based Applications

Industry Partner: VSHN AG

Research Partner: SPLab and ICCLab, ZHAW

Funded ByCommission for Technology and Innovation

Summary: The MOSAIC project focuses on providing a platform for delivering any kind of application as a service, with a focus on container-based applications. It features an integrated incident management system as well as a container-optimized storage system. The platform will be able to deploy hybrid applications split into multiple locations, optimizing resiliency and cost in the process, as well as support continuous integration and deployment of each service.

Project MOSAIC aims to deliver a platform to deploy and manage distributed, container-based applications. None of the currently available Platform-as-a-Service frameworks provide the same benefits to application developers: MOSAIC delivers a vendor-independent, Platform-as-a-Service framework independent, software suite which can orchestrate applications on multiple providers, automatically monitor them during runtime, automatically detect and resolve runtime incidents, all based on a custom storage backend optimized specifically for container-based cloud-native applications.

Enterprise Cloud Robotics Platform transfer project

Title: ECRP – Enterprise Cloud Robotics Platform

Industry Partner: Rapyuta Robotics

Research Partner: SPLab/ICCLab, ZHAW

Funded ByCommission for Technology and Innovation

Summary:
The ECRP project combines cutting edge robotics technology from Rapyuta Robotics (RR), an ETH Zurich spinoff, and novel cloud development from the Service Prototyping (SPLab) and InIT Cloud Computing Lab (ICCLab) at ZHAW.
With ICCLab, RR will transform its existing open source robotics platform from a prototype to a full-fledged cloud-native enterprise ecosystem for third-party applications combining physical devices with cloud-hosted functionality.
RR and ZHAW have agreed to release this work as open source software (OSS), under the label Rapyuta Core.

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ARKIS

Title: ARKIS – Architectural Renovation of Kendox InfoShare

Industry Partner: Kendox AG

Research Partner: SPLab, ZHAW

Funded ByCommission for Technology and Innovation

Summary: ARKIS aims at going beyond the current trend of “just” moving data and document management into the cloud by defining a cloud-native architecture for managing documents reliably and with scale in an ecosystem of third-party services around a document management system. Business-critical aspects such as fully compliant and auditable document access procedures are made service-oriented by rating and billing them on a per-use basis. Cloud features such as differentiated storage and surge pricing are analysed for their suitability in this particular domain.

The project will deliver, among other results, a multi-tenant prototype for managing documents in the cloud including revenue sharing for participating entities and a testbed for comparing relational and document databases, both locally and commercial services.

This transfer and innovation project combines the previous work of the Service Prototyping Lab (SPLab) and ICCLab in Cloud-Native Applications, augmented by an extended consideration of Cloud-Native Databases as stateful microservices, with Rating-Charging-Billing and Service Tooling.

Apalia

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

Industry Partner: Apalia

Research Partner: ICCLab, ZHAW

Funded ByCommission for Technology and Innovation

Summary:
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.

Apache CloudStack for NFV (ACeN)

Apache CloudStack for NFV (ACeN) is a project that is funded by the Commission for Technology and Innovation.

The ACeN projects seeks to deliver services and prototypes based on the ETSI Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) standard and Apache CloudStack. A novel hybrid load-balancing service (HLBS) will be created and and key NFV demonstrators will be prototyped. All will follow a common architectural approach, on common technology with contributions to open-source communities (under ASL 2.0) by Swiss implementation partners. This work will leverage and can enable access to a market worth up to $2.4 Billion by 2018.

The HLBS will deliver, in a cloud native fashion, the combined two key functionalities of:

  1. Elastic Load Balancing (ELB)
  2. Elastic IPs (EIP)

Proof of CloudStack capabilities will be demonstrated through two NFV prototypes that are of importance to partners, namely:

  1. NFV use case (UC) one through the implementation of an on-demand tenant-based inter-data centre connectivity VPN using CloudStack.
  2. NFV UC five with an on-demand IMS service using CloudStack. IMS.

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SafeSwissCloud

Title: Flexible Billing and Cyber Intelligence in Virtual Data Centres

Industry Partner: SafeSwissCloud

Research Partner: ICCLab, ZHAW

Funded byCommission for Technology and Innovation

Summary: Flexible billing in Virtual Data Centers allows Safe Swiss Cloud to easily apply various charging models for its products and services and thus better meet clients needs. Also, it provides its resellers and partners instant access to the flexible billing system and start making business immediately without having to invest in their own billing systems.

Cloud billing models currently in use do not deliver the required flexibility to streamline charging of existing and new cloud services with client’s needs nor do they deliver these capablities to 3rd party providers such as resellers and other partners.
Flexible billing will provide the required flexibility by introducing a highly customizable system. Flexible billing will be provided for Safe Swiss Cloud as well as its resellers and other partners

Cyber intelligence is a powerful security argument which will enable Safe Swiss Cloud to reach a client base with high security requirements. This will lead to additional clients Safe Swiss Cloud would otherwise not be able to acquire. Already today, with its current positioning, Safe Swiss Cloud attracts the interest of clients with high security requirements and consequently has to deliver on that.

The innovations proposed enable new business for resellers and partners to start selling secure Swiss cloud services immediately, with the help of a flexible rating, charging and billing system. The innovations also involve an intelligent mechanisms to detect internal and external security threats by monitoring and learning from resource consumption and network traffic patterns of the cloud.  Together these are designed to create a competitive edge for Safe Swiss Cloud.

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Solidna

Solidna is a project that is funded by the Commission for Technology and Innovation. Solidna will develop a core strategic cloud-based storage product and service area for a major Infrastructure as a Service provider (CloudSigma). The three key innovations that will be developed in Solidna are:

1. Upgraded Compute Storage Performance: this will focus on stability and dependability, guaranteeing a minimum performance level for critical systems. Here we will focus on stability and dependability, guaranteeing a minimum performance level for critical systems. Customers directly affect each other’s performance on many IaaS platforms today. This is the most critical problem for a public cloud provider to solve. By having a virtual drive in a public cloud and storing that drive across hundreds of physical drives, that performance limitation can be reduced significantly.

Solidna will develop the means to deliver a cloud storage solution with a high level of stability and dependability and to guarantee a minimum performance level for critical systems. This innovation will be delivered through the following technical innovations of:

  • Mechanisms to guarantee a minimum expected performance
  • Reliable clients that ensure the data is read/written consistently
  • Definition of specific performance critical system metrics and reporting of those metrics
  • Optimisation of the system based on system metrics (e.g. variable block sizing based on data stored)
  • Data segmentation optimisations including block-size optimisation and distributed striping
  • On-demand performance guarantees can grow as requested by the user

2. Advanced Storage Management Functionality will be another focus in Solidna. This will focus on enabling a number of abilities including creation of live snapshots, the backup of virtual drives and to geo-replicate a drive to one or more additional locations. The same rich feature-set as a high end commercial SAN product will result from this project but using standard low-cost, commodity hardware and a new upgraded software storage system. These new features will form the basis of new revenue streams. Key features include:

  • The ability to create live snapshots and backups of virtual drives. This ability allows to backup data from drives and keep these as separate copies and is important for the data resilience and security reasons,
  • The capability to geo-replicate a drive to one or more additional locations.

This innovation will be delivered through the follwing technical innovations:

  • System agents to watch and discover failed or potential failing system nodes
  • Mechanisms and algorithms for deregistration, recreation and associated redistribution and rebalancing of the storage nodes
  • Active reliability automated testing of the cloud storage service
  • Logically centralised control centre for the entire system
  • Storage system with the ability to rebalance the storage nodes
  • Expansion the ICCLab framework to accommodate the DFS
  • Functionality of policy-defined geo-replication
  • Functionality of volume migration

3. Object-based Storage Environment: Massive capacity cloud storage and multi-modal API access to a reliable storage. The scalability of the storage offered to customers is limited to the maximum drive size of 2TB per drive. Although a server can mount multiple drives to form a larger storage volume, the practical maximum size per server could be estimated at around 20-30 TB. Even with multiple drives this becomes difficult to manage. As well as the usual API interface allowing access to virtual drives, the proposed work aims to expose directories of files in the object storage as network mount points to the compute cloud. In effect this gives customers two access points to their storage, based on usage needs, a network drive API and an object storage API interface. This innovation will be delivered through the following technical innovations:

  • Accessing stored data using POSIX and HTTP from within the VM with implementation of file system drivers and HTTP API
  • Review of existing storage APIs and recommendation