Open Cloud Day 2018

This year we had the pleasure to organize and host one of Switzerland’s most prestigious cloud events, the OpenCloudDay. On the 30th of May, we welcomed the around 80 participants at the ZHAW School of Engineering in Winterthur for a day rich with technical talks, demos and networking possibilities for Cloud Computing practitioners and experts in Switzerland.

Welcome and introduction to Open Cloud Day 2018

The program of the day started with two opening talks covering very timely topics in the field of Cloud Computing. The first talk, given by Thomas Michael Bohnert from the ICCLab, was a critical view on what many consider as the next evolutionary direction of Cloud Computing, namely Edge Computing. We got the speaker’s perspective on the motivations, the potential obstacles and open issues for this paradigm to definitely break through (or maybe not) as the next Cloud Computing frontier. The second opening talk was given by Sacha Dubois from Red Hat and focused on the potential of Ansible Tower for the automation and management of Hybrid Clouds. After a general discussion on the possibilities offered by Ansible Tower to managing both on-premise and public cloud workloads, a live demo showed how this would work in the practice.

Presentation on Ansible Tower by Red Hat

During the second part of the morning and the first part of the afternoon, two technical sessions were ran in parallel. Several topics were covered as for instance Continuous Delivery, Continuous Deployment and Continuous Integration in the Cloud, and the CNCF activities during the last year, the challenges with the adoption of Web Application Firewall for the DevOps methodology and much more. An insightful presentation was given on the current cloudware technologies and what to expect from future post-clouds systems. Practical experiences were also presented as, for instance, in setting up a Kubernetes cluster, on the use of Ansible for cloud solutions. Also a workshop about the setup of an  oVirt infrastructure for an open source Cloud Management Software was organized in the morning. For a complete program of the technical talks please visit the webpage of the OpenCloudDay.

Attendees during one of the technical presentations

The two final technical talks of the day were given by Niklaus Hofer from Stepping Stone and Jens-Christian Fischer from SWITCH. In the first of the two talks, a presentation was given on the analysis of storage performance for a Ceph cluster. More specifically, the focus was on the comparison between the new backend solution for the Luminous Ceph release, i.e. BlueStore, and the FileStore solution for storing data to disk. Open challenges and further open points of investigation were also given.
The last talk brought up a different point of view regarding all the technical solutions to run a cloud. Based on the experience of SWITCH in running an OpenStack/Ceph based cloud for the Swiss Academic community, the importance of the users’ role in using the technology was put in focus. The user’s perspective is not to be overseen as this puts additional challenges and requirements for solutions to be deployed as the experience of SWITCH clearly highlighted.

The program of the day also offered a total of seven demo presentations on the following topics: Cloud Robotics, Edge Computing, CAB, CNA, Service Tooling, ElasTest, T-Systems solutions.

One of the demos presented by the ICCLab

A report on the 8th Swiss SDN workshop at last!

Following the rhythm, we held the 8th Swiss SDN workshop/meetup in mid-June this year. It was a great a pleasure and experience to get the networkers together for a full-day event hosted at ETH Zurich. We learnt about new solutions and implementations from the talks/demos given by our colleagues from the academia and the private sector.

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Cloud Computing Summer School 2016 – highlights

The Service Engineering group just finished the Cloud Computing Summer School 2016 last Friday. Summer School is a yearly activity at ZHAW, organised in the first 2 weeks of July, in collaboration with the Grand Valley State University (GVSU), USA.

Students of both universities attend the lectures in Winterthur. Swiss students are given the option to attend 2 complimentary weeks in the USA right after the Summer School in Winterthur. The program was slightly changed this year by introducing guest lecturers. In the previous years all lectures were given by the SE group members, which we modified this year by inviting known experts in the field of Cloud Computing from Switzerland and abroad, to talk about the current technologies as well as the current practices in their organisation. This mix of academic and applied modules was very well received by the students.

Swiss 2016 group pic

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4th SDN Workshop in Bern

Yesterday for the 4th time the ICCLab organized the SDN workshop at the University of Bern in cooperation with SWITCH. We had around 25 participants and 7 talks that tackled SDN in the world of cloud computing, NFV, IXP, video content delivery, high performance cloud, authentication request routing and access control etc. All these solutions coming from different projects from the academia and the industry.


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10th Swiss OpenStack User Group Meetup


Last evening, we had our 10th OpenStack Switzerland User Group Meetup. The nice folks at Puzzle ITC hosted and sponsored the event in their premises. The meetup started with a warm welcome from Mr. Mark Waber, CEO of Puzzle ITC and our own Mr. Andy Edmonds, Senior Researcher in the lab.

We quickly moved on with the presentations, 6 talks in total sandwiched between a 30 mins break for delicious Pizzas, some chilled Beer and delightful networking 🙂 Special thanks again to Puzzle!

Following is the list of presentations we had yesterday and a link to them. There was an interesting round of questions and answers following each talk (which of course couldn’t be recorded) and a round of applause for the presenter.


Follow the meetup group for upcoming CHOSUG events! We’ll be back soon 🙂


4th Open Cloud Day : ready and waiting!

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The 4th Open Cloud Day is ready and waiting for your participation. This event, which we co-organise with Swiss Open Systems User Group (/ch/open) is running for the 4th time having it’s first outing in 2012. Scheduled on the 16th of June 2015 at the University of Bern (event location plan), the event runs for the entire day with a main track and 2 parallel talk and workshop tracks. The schedule can be seen here. During this event, ICCLab will be presenting demos of the different open-source prototypes we are developing in the lab under our various research initiatives.

We present more talks, workshops and demos this year, showcasing an industrial as well as academic relevance in the topics of Cloud Computing, Open Source, Cloud operational experiences, new technologies and applications, so on and so forth. The detailed information about the talks and workshops can be seen here.

For those who are not early birds, there is still time to join; please register here.

We look forward to seeing you there and hope for a very successful event!

SDN Workshop, 11th June 2015, University of Bern

ICCLab is happy to announce the upcoming SDN Workshop, that we are co-organising with SWITCH, will take place on Thursday, 11th of June 2015 – 09:00am to 6:00pm.

Location: University of BernMain Building, HG , 1st. Floor, Room 115

The aim of this Workshop is to share knowledge, have hands on sessions/presentations on SDN/NFV, Security, Cloud Computing and Service Delivery to the end-user, students, staff and researchers, providing a complete picture with ICT approaches, industry solutions, innovation and research.

Kindly register here to confirm your participation.

Agenda of the day is: 

09:15 – Welcome and Introduction

1st Session – 4 Presentations:

1. zSDN, a lossless networking architecture for workload-driven high performance Cloud – Mitch Gusat, IBM Research Labs Zurich

2. ENDEAVOUR H2020 project, enabling next-generation programmatic network services in Internet eXchange Points (IXPs) –  Marco Canini, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium

3. Cloud Networking, Open Daylight and OpenStack – Irena Trajkovska, ICCLab, ZHAW

4. Open Cloud Exchange – Kurt Baumann, SWITCH

Lunch Break (1 hour)

2nd Session – 4 Presentations:

5. Architecture for application-centric wireless access using SDN – Panagiotis Papadimitriou, University of Hanover

6. SDN Network at Uni. of Bern – Zhongliang Zhao, University of Bern

7. Title coming soon – Microsoft Zurich

8. Pending

Wrap-up (17:00 – 18:00) – Discussion, next steps and networking

We would like to invite you to participate and request you to register here, so that we have the exact number of participants (to estimate the lunch requirement). To kindly note, registration is mandatory. 

Thanks and see you there!

Energy Efficiency and Cloud Computing – The Theme

The primary focus of the Energy Theme is on reducing the energy consumption of cloud computing resources. As compute nodes consume most of the energy in cloud computing systems, work to date has been focused on reducing the energy consumed by compute loads, particularly within the Openstack context. Although, as servers get increasingly instrumented, it is clear that there is potential in understanding the energy consumption with finer granularity and ultimately this can lead to energy efficiencies and cost savings.


In the current work, the primary mechanism to achieve energy efficiencies is load consolidation combined with power control of servers. This could be augmented with managing server CPU power states, but it remains to be seen if this will lead to significant power savings. Another tool to achieve energy efficiencies is to add elastic load when the resources are underutilized – this does not reduce the overall energy consumption per se, but rather enables providers to get more bang for their energy buck.


The current architecture of the Cloud Energy Efficiency Subsystem is shown above with the components performing the following functions:

  • an energy monitoring component: this obtains information on the energy consumption of the entire system – it may also make some kind of abstraction rather than working with highly granular data for each node;
  • a load characterization component: this component uses primarily ceilometer data to understand what is going on in the cloud – it makes an abstraction of the usage of the system over different timescales and particularly determines which level of burstiness exists in the load patterns;
  • a load consolidation mechanism: this will take the info on the system state and identify where load consolidation can be performed – it then issues a set of live migration instructions to the cloud to perform the consolidate. In general, it would be necessary to add some filters to support different hypervisors, bare metal servers, etc which makes it more complex;
  • physical server manager: this will turn off servers and turn them on as necessary – this will take input from the load characterization component to determine how much spare capacity to keep in the system to deal with variations in demand.

The specific interactions between these components is evolving as this is a work in progress.


At present, the theme comprises of two initiatives. These are

Related Projects


5th Swiss OpenStack User Group Meetup – at University of Zurich

5th Swiss OpenStack User Group

This fifth edition of the OpenStack CH User Group has been dedicated to the networking aspects of OpenStack but not only.
More then 40 people attended the meeting on 24-Oct. from 18.00 to 21.00 at the University of Zurich, Irchel campus
Sergio Maffioletti (GC3 project director,  University of Zurich) gave a short welcome before the presentations started.

The agenda included four talks, of about 30 minutes, in the following order:

OpenStack Networking Introduction by Yves Fauser, System Engineer VMware NSBU

The talk encompassed this topics: Traditional Networking – refresher, OpenStack integrated projects big picture, Why OpenStack Networking is called Neutron now, Networking before Neutron, Nova-Networking, Drawbacks of Nova-Networking that led to Neutron, OpenStack Networking with Neutron, Neutron Overview, Available Plugins, Neutron Demo and Neutron – State of the Nation.

NFV and Swisscom’s Openstack Architecture by Markus Brunner – Swisscom

Markus Brunner gave an introduction to Network Function Virtualization and how Swisscom sees how its implementation in the service chain could help to overcome the increasing traffic vs. decreasing customer fees dilemma, by offering value added networking virtual services (firewall, IP-TV, …).  Another major aspect is to minimize the number of different hardware boxes by using virtualized components running on cloud infrastructure and reduce vendor lock-in.

Mirantis Fuel and Monitoring and how it all powers the XIFI FI PPP Project by Federico Facca – Create-Net – Italy

Federico gave a presentation on the  XIFI project, XIFI architetcure and Infrastructure TOOLBOX which has the objectives of automating the installation of host operating system, hypervisor and OpenStack software through the Preboot eXecution Environment (PXE). The TOOLBOX also defines and selects a deployment model among the ones available and discovers the servers where to install the software.
XIFI federation allows to specify a “role” (controller, storage, compute etc) for each server and makes set up & network configuration (vlan etc), supports registration of the infrastructure into the federation and finally tests the deployment so to verify that everything has been installed correctly.

Ceph Storage in OpenStack by Jens-Christian Fischer SWITCH

The presentation gave interesting hints on Ceph Design Goals, Ceph Storage options, Ceph architecture, CRUSH Algorithm, Monitor – MON and Metadata Server MDS.  Jens-Christian then concluded with information about OpenStack at SWITCH and Test Cluster.


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Events: 30th birthday of the Swiss Informatics Society SI today at the HES-SO Fribourg.

As announced in previous posts, we report below the agenda of the  Cloud Computing in Switzerland workshop, chaired by ICCLab  from 8.45 AM to 10.45 AM today at the 30th birthday of the Swiss Informatics Society SI – the HES-SO Fribourg.

8:45 – 9:00  Intro by Christof Marti (ZHAW)

Workshop introduction, goals and activities on Cloud Computing at ZHAW.

9:00-09:20  Peter Kunszt  (Systemsx) 

The view of the scientific community on technological trends and the opportunities offered by Cloud Computing infrastructures.

Cloud computing services for research – first steps and recommendations”

9:20-09:40 Markus Brunner (Swisscom)

The view of the operators on how cloud computing is transforming the ecosystem and related risks & challenges.

9:40-10:00  Sergio Maffioletti (University of Zurich) 

The view of the scientific community on how cloud technology could be used as a foundation for building a national research support infrastructure.

“Roadmap for an Open Cloud Academic Research Infrastructure”

10:00-10:20 Michèal Higgins  (CloudSigma) - remote

The view of the industry on how cloud computing is transforming the ecosystem and related risks & challenges.

“CloudSigma and the Challenges of Big Science in the Cloud”

10:20-10:40 Muharem Hrnjadovic (RackSpace)

An overview of key capabilities of cloud based infrastructures like OpenStack and challenging scenarios.

10:40-10:45 All

Q&A session