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An introduction to cloud computing
 

Telco perspective
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RESERVOIR -
Deploying
complex
multi-tier
applications on a
federated cloud
infrastructure

 

Mobile cloud
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RESERVOIR

Deploying complex multi-tier applications on a federated cloud infrastructure

Eliot Salant
IBM Haifa Lab – RESERVOIR Project Coordinator

salant@il.ibm.com

Philippe Massonet
CETIC – RESERVOIR Dissemination Manager

reservoir@cetic.be

 

RESERVOIR is a three-year project in Cloud Computer infrastructure, partially funded under the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme. Its main objective is to seamlessly enable deployment and management of complex IT services across distributed administrative domains and geographies. It is envisioned that the RESERVOIR innovation will serve the European community in the development of next-generation data centres, demonstrating significant improvements in service delivery productivity while reducing software complexity and costs. As a result, RESERVOIR will improve reliability and enhance accessibility to government and business services. 

Context
The emerging model of Cloud Computing is characterised by elastic and location-independent resource pooling. What this means is that resources can be obtained from the cloud without requiring knowledge of where the resources actually reside, and with the ability for the cloud to handle fluctuations in demand on the infrastructure, maintaining a pay-per-use model. In today’s technology, applications are typically hosted on clouds at large data centres, which may have tens or even hundreds of thousands of physical machines. The RESERVOIR approach, however, contends that no single compute cloud can be large enough to meet rapidly scaling demands on its infrastructure without having to expensively overprovision its physical infrastructure. RESERVOIR’s research has been focused on solving this problem by enabling the migration of virtualized resources across federated clouds, while guaranteeing security, and meeting QoS (Quality of Service) requirements. 


Figure 1: RESERVOIR Logo 

Achieving the RESERVOIR vision
Started in January 2008, the RESERVOIR consortium is led by IBM, and consists of thirteen leading industrial, research and academic partners from across Europe.  RESERVOIR requirements were derived from use cases brought by industrial partners in the project, and cover eGovernment, utility computing, business computing, and telco applications. 

RESERVOIR, which is an acronym for “Resources and Services Virtualization without Barriers”, has demonstrated the ability to create an infrastructure which allows for live migration of virtual machines, moving to physical hosts which may not share common storage, or may reside on different subnets or even different clouds.

In addition to its research goals, another aim of the project is to create technologies which can be exploited by the European community to build an infrastructure for a cost-competitive, service-based online economy by merging virtualization and business management technologies. These results are available in the form of the RESERVOIR Framework, which is downloadable from the RESERVOIR website, www.reservoir-fp7.eu. This framework groups all the open source software, and the detailed specifications of the proprietary code that are necessary to help the user build a RESERVOIR cloud. 

The RESERVOIR architecture
RESERVOIR supplies an architecture for a service-oriented infrastructure, built on open standards and new technologies. The architecture is composed of three main layers, with functionality such as security and a messaging bus cutting across all layers.

At the lowest layer resides the Virtual Execution Environment (VEE), which supplies an encapsulation and interfaces to the virtualization entity (e.g. virtual machine, storage). Users are allotted a VEE without needing to be aware where physical resources are physically located. This layer supplies the infrastructure required to support and manipulate these VEEs, such as techniques for allowing relocation of a VEE across sub-network boundaries while retaining connectivity to underlying storage.

The VEE Management layer (VEEM) was developed to provide dynamic deployment and re-allocation of VEEs on underlying physical resources, based on quality of service requirements coming from a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Sophisticated algorithms were developed for the placement of virtualized resources on physical hosts, as well as techniques for admission control – statistically allowing for overbooking of resources which maintaining SLA commitments. Additionally, the VEE Management layer provides mechanisms to federate management domains, allowing the management of VEEs across administrative domains, such as multiple service sites.

The highest layer in the RESERVOIR stack is the Service Management layer, which provides the interface to requirements from the business world, including support for billing for services used, composition of the definition of the service required, and the monitoring of SLA compliance. 

Open Source Components
RESERVOIR defines an open federated infrastructure cloud architecture and delivers a framework of open source components and design documents one can download from the RESERVOIR website and integrate to build one’s own cloud infrastructure.

Several key components of the RESERVOIR architecture are being released as open source middleware.

The Claudia platform offers a Service Management toolkit to deploy and control the scalability of service among a public, private or hybrid IaaS cloud. It provides a Dashboard and a standard TCloud API (application interface) based on OVF (Open Virtualization Format) to support provisioning of PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service). The Claudia platform is available through the Morfeo open source community. The Claudia platform can also be integrated with the OpenNebula cloud management framework. OpenNebula is an open source toolkit, with excellent performance and scalability to manage tens of thousands of virtual machines, with high integration capabilities to fit into any existing data centre, and with the most advanced functionality for building private, public and hybrid clouds. It provides the most common cloud interfaces to expose its functionality for virtual machine, storage and network management The OpenNebula platform is available under Apache license on its community site and on the Morfeo open source community. Explanations are available on how to integrate the Claudia and the OpenNebula platforms.

To help secure the integrated Claudia and OpenNebula platforms, security services are also planned for release on Morfeo. The security services will provide access control for the public interfaces of the IaaS cloud, and allow securing an IaaS federation. Role-based access control is provided in combination with X509 certificates to provide authorisation, authentication and integrity checks across both the Claudia and OpenNebula public interfaces. Security services are also provided to secure the IaaS federation. They allow providing authentication between data centres within a cloud federation, and enforcing global security policies in a federation. 

Conclusion
The project has become a success by bringing together key technology providers and users to define and build a next generation virtualized service platform. RESERVOIR’s internal collaboration process involving EU companies, research centres and universities, ensures that these platforms meet key EU technology users’ needs. RESERVOIR has placed emphasis on aligning research results closer to the market, with accessibility to all. To this end, RESERVOIR technologies are built on open standards, avoiding vendor lock-in and ensuring access for all. From a business perspective, RESERVOIR’s technological advances enable large companies as well as SMEs to build a Compute Cloud. Given the project’s scope, NESSI has identified RESERVOIR as a Strategic NESSI Project in the service infrastructure area. RESERVOIR’s research has resulted in creating an architecture and a reference implementation of a service-oriented infrastructure that is built on open standards and new technologies and is providing a dependable framework for delivering services as utilities. RESERVOIR can demonstrate how this infrastructure supports the deployment of complex service scenarios that are not otherwise supported by today's technology. 

For further information, visit the RESERVOIR website at www.reservoir-fp7.eu

Accessible through the project website, the RESERVOIR Framework explains how RESERVOIR open source software and specifications are used to build a federated cloud infrastructure.

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