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.

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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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MCN and ICCLab Demo at EUCNC

As part of our on-going work in MobileCloud Networking the project demonstrated at this year’s EUCNC, held in a very warm (> 35*C !!!) Paris, France.

The MCN demonstration was built on top of a standard cloud infrastructure, leveraging key technologies of OpenStack and OpenShift and used (open source outputs of MCN, namely hurtle – the cloud orchestration framework of the ICCLab which is used throughout MCN to enable service delivery. Also demonstrated was the use of the ICCLab’s billing solution, Cyclops that is orchestrated using Hurtle. All of this delivers a NFV-compatible, on-demand, composed service instance.

The MobileCloud Networking (MCN) approach and architecture was demonstrated aiming to show new innovative revenue streams based on new service offerings and the optimisation of CAPEX/OPEX. Of particular note and focus, the work highlighted results of cloudifying the Radio Access Network (RAN) and delivering this capability as an on-demand service.

Supporting this focus was the composition of an end-to-end service (RAN, EPC, IMS, DNS, Monitoring & Billing) instance via the MCN dashboard. This demo service is standards compliant and features interoperable implementations of ETSI NFV, OCCI and 3GPP software.

 

4th Open Cloud Day – Highlights

ocd3The 4th Open Cloud Day, which we co-organised with The Swiss Open Users Group (/ch/open), took place earlier this week. The event held a gathering of about 120 participants, from industry and academia together. There were in total 17 talks and 3 workshop sessions.

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Rating, charging and billing for the clouds – Cyclops demo

In the past few months, the ICCLab has been developing a generic rating-charging-billing engine that would offer cloud service providers a modular framework that enables dynamic pricing activities and distributed design. The model closely follows the general accounting process, in the same time providing a lot of flexibility due to the loosely-coupled design. The platform is currently being developed in Python on top of OpenStack using its Ceilometer component for collection and extraction of the metered data. To enable this facility, we have created a custom Ceilometer client that uses REST APIs to get the needed data records. The key architectural components are:

  • Mediation module: The data coming from the monitoring devices needs to be combined in a single user session and transformed in a common format.
  • Charging module: The rating engine collects the usage records and applies the appropriate pricing strategy.
  • Billing module: The basic billed amount in a billing cycle is generated by aggregating the charge records and readjusts it by applying discounts, penalties, taxation etc.
  • User/Management interface: The service can be accessed by a web-based user-interface that allows configuration of every aspect of the RCB process.

In the video below, a demo of the first Cyclops prototype is being shown. In the scenario, we take a look at the basic admin features: listing all the tenants and their respective users, checking the user status, calculating the accumulated cost per user, as well as starting a periodic counter for the specific user. The facility for defining the pricing function for a particular user, allows the admin to choose some of the available meters and apply standard arithmetics to get the desired formula.

This is the first prototype for our RCB solution. In future, the platform would offer more advanced rating and charging models with the support for discounts, taxation, penalties etc, as well as support for other cloud platforms.