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EcoMultiCloud Report Summary

Project ID: 712363


Reporting period: 2015-12-01 to 2016-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The explosion of digital content, big data, e-commerce, and Internet traffic is making Data Centers one of the fastest-growing consumers of electricity in developed countries: nowadays, DCs around the world consume 30 billion watts of power annually (~1,2% of worldwide electricity consumption).
An efficient utilization of resources is essential to reduce operational costs, energy consumption, carbon emissions and also to ensure that the Quality of Service experienced by users is adequate to the Service Level Agreements.
The adoption of interconnected DCs is rapidly increasing: multinational enterprises, financial institutions, telco operators and major cloud providers are deploying distributed DCs to interconnect both proprietary and third-parties heterogeneous DCs, in the so-called “Inter-Cloud” scenario.
Inter-DC VM migration is a more novel research topic; while opportunities opened by long distance migrations are huge, involved issues are also extremely complex: among them, the benefits-to-drawbacks convenience for the workload migrations, the selection of which site from/to migrate, the selection of which specific portion of the workload should be migrated, the determination of the reassignment of the migrating workload into the target site. To efficiently address these problems, it is necessary to decentralize part of the intelligence and distribute the decisions points, while still exploiting the centralized architecture and functionalities offered by virtualization infrastructures in single DCs. This naturally leads to a hierarchical infrastructure, in which single DCs manage the local workload autonomously but communicate with each other to route and migrate VMs among them.
In this scenario, the SME Eco4Cloud is developing a hierarchical framework/architecture for the efficient distribution of the workload on a multi-site scenario. It allows for an integrated and homogeneous management of heterogeneous platforms but at the same time preserving the autonomy of single sites. EcoMultiCloud gives DC administrators the opportunity to achieve the following technical and business goals: reduction of power consumption / carbon emissions, reduction of energy costs, depending on DCs location, Quality of Service Management, Compliance with Service Level Agreement and Reduced Inter-DC Communications. The following objectives, upon which the successful commercialization of EcoMultiCloud solution will depend, have been defined:
Objective 1: The complete development and integration of EcoMultiCloud modules and infrastructure;
Objective 2: The assessment of the effectiveness of EcoMultiCloud and final validation in a real case pilot;
Objective 3: The successful final business innovation plan and pre-commercialization activities.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During the first period of the project, the following activities have been performed: in WP1 the work was focused on the definition of technical and business requirements of the EcoMultiCloud solution and on the specification and implementation of the related architecture. In this WP, we summarized the main features of multi-DC environments, and outlined the solutions envisioned by the big players in this field. We also examined the main business scenarios that are involved and completed the design of a hierarchical architecture, which is suitable and able to offer an efficient and scalable solution to the problem of optimally assigning the VMs among multiple data centers and within each data center.
We identified the main business scenarios for which EcoMultiCloud can offer a valid and efficient solution, these being: Hybrid Cloud, Geographically distributed data centers and Software defined networking. Finally, we identified the metrics that can be used to assess the successful achievement of the requirements and the targets associated with the metrics. Metrics pertain to the energy efficiency, the use of green energy, the latency and communication performance, the cost of energy, the quality of service perceived by users and the ability to recovery from situations of interruption or limitation of electricity.
In WP2, the activities performed in Period 1 were mostly devoted to the implementation of software modules of the EcoMultiCloud solution. Specifically, the activities focused on the design and implementation of the software modules of the Local Manager, which drives the operations of local Data Centers and of the Data Center Manager, which coordinates and orchestrates the activities of the whole system. All the modules were designed and implemented as VMware vApps, deployed in a VMWare environment. We also defined the software interfaces for the connections between the EcoMultiCloud Orchestrator, belonging to the Upper Layer, and the different Local Data Centers. In parallel with the technical work described above, efforts and resources have been devoted to the update of the initial business plan and to planning a set of communication actions to support the customer development objective and to facilitate the future adoption of the EcoMultiCloud innovation in the reference segments of market.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

In order to achieve a successful marketing strategy, we have investigated the impact of our technology on the virtualized DC design operation with a focus on the technological barriers, including:
- Integration with other DC management tools - EcoMultiCloud architecture has been developed in order to be easily integrated with all kind of facility-side DC Infrastructure Management tools.
- Availability on multiple virtualization platform – EcoMultiCloud works on top of any virtualization platform, and is ideal for hybrid environments;
- The amount of inter-DC bandwidth available could be a limiting factor – The adaptive and self-organizing nature of our algorithm, as migrations are performed only when needed, asynchronously, and at predetermined and controlled rates, permits to handle the problem of the amount of inter-DC bandwidth available.
- The challenges posed by increased workload portability among distributed DCs- Nowadays, a limited number of sites are interconnected: our solution envisions that all DCMs in a group of EcoMultiCloud-enabled facilities will communicate with each other.
According to our analysis and forecast of profit and loss account, we estimate an income growth of the company of 300%, thanks to the features introduced in the Eco4Cloud products suite after completing the EcoMultiCloud project. Forecast on revenues in 2017 keeps into account the sales of usage licenses of the software available today, with the heterogeneous data center management feature. Using EcoMultiCloud in the private cloud enables companies to achieve their SLAs at the lowest cost, mainly through workload migration and applications stacking. In a hybrid cloud, EcoMultiCloud helps with dynamic placement decisions according to policy, removing people from the provisioning/brokering process. It also enforces policies that reduce sprawl and wasted costs, increases policy compliance, and reduces risks from accidental or malicious activities. Dynamic optimization technology for the public cloud enables better utilization of services at lower costs.
The feature of multiple clouds management, provided by EcoMultiCloud project, allows the company to make its products suite more appealing for companies with large IT infrastructures geographically dispersed, and therefore will allow to increase sales, that will exceed 2M€ in 2018.

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