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ICT-07-2014 - Advanced Cloud Infrastructures and Services

Specific Challenge: Cloud computing is being transformed by new requirements such as heterogeneity of resources and devices, software-defined data centres and cloud networking, security, and the rising demands for better quality of user experience. 

Cloud computing research will be oriented towards new computational and data management models (at both infrastructure and services levels) that respond to the advent of faster and more efficient machines, rising heterogeneity of access modes and devices, demand for low energy solutions, widespread use of big data, federated clouds and secure multi-actor environments including public administrations.

The aim is to develop infrastructures, methods and tools for high performance, adaptive cloud applications and services that go beyond the current capabilities, strengthening the competitive position of the European industry, including SMEs on a time horizon beyond 2018 and building upon European strengths in telecoms and mobile infrastructures as well as software applications and services.


a.      Research & Innovation actions: proposals are expected to cover one or more of the themes identified below, but not necessarily all of them.

         High performance heterogeneous cloud infrastructures. The focus is on development, deployment and management of cloud-based infrastructures and services (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) over large-scale, distributed, heterogeneous, dynamic computing and storage environments.

         Federated cloud networking: Techniques for the deployment and management of federated and decentralised cloud infrastructures, in particular cloud networking techniques (within software-defined data centres and across wide-area networks) and mechanisms to enable incorporation of resources and services independent of their location across distributed computing and storage infrastructures.  Approaches, including standards, to increase interoperability between cloud services and infrastructure providers to enable efficient interworking and migration of services, applications and data.

         Dynamic configuration, automated provisioning and orchestration of cloud resources: Tools for automatic and dynamic deployment, configuration and management of services to enhance availability, flexibility, elasticity and to meet targeted performance constraints; techniques for managing big data taking into account integrity, consistency and maintenance aspects. Tools to facilitate the coherent deployment of distributed applications over heterogeneous infrastructures and platforms from multiple providers. Mechanisms to off-load computation and storage tasks from mobile devices onto the cloud at both design and execution time.

         Automated discovery and composition of services: Innovative ways to facilitate collaboration between public administrations, users and other stakeholders as to produce, discover, mix and re-use different service components and create new public services through pooling and sharing of resources, data, content and tools, even across national borders. The research will build on the ""cloud of public services” concept that requires interoperable, reusable modules for public service functionalities. These are likely to be cross-institutional, cross-sector, easily used, re-used and combined dynamically to address specific needs.

         Cloud security: Mechanisms, tools and techniques to increase trust, security and transparency of cloud infrastructures and services, including data integrity, localisation  and confidentiality, also when using third party cloud resources.

b.      Innovation Actions: platforms for trusted cloud systems. Collaborative development, adaptation and testing of open source software for innovative and trusted cloud-based services. Allow on-line collaboration across different platforms and different technical environments for geographically dispersed teams. Encourage the rapid prototyping and testing of open applications, including early and active involvement of users.

c.       Coordination and support actions:

Support to the definition of common reference models for SLAs in the cloud. Support for the adoption of cloud computing infrastructures and services by addressing legal, economic, and societal factors.

Support to collaboration among research projects in the areas of software, services and cloud computing, including support to common dissemination / exploitation activities and roadmapping.

Expected impact:

         Significantly higher quality of user experience and trust in clouds through stronger security and data protection, including open and auditable solutions for data security.

         Demonstration - of cloud-based services in federated, heterogeneous and multi-layered (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) cloud environments; of the dynamic provisioning of interoperable applications and services over heterogeneous resources and devices; of high level of performance and quality of service even in highly secure solutions.

         Increased innovation opportunities for service providers, including SMEs and public administrations, evidenced through implementations of advanced cloud infrastructures and services. Promotion of the reuse of open source software solutions in cloud environments, in particular, involving SMEs and public administrations.

         Demonstration through appropriate use cases of the potential to improve the competitive position of the European cloud sector.

Types of action:

a.       Research & Innovation Actions – A mix of proposals requesting Small and Large contributions is expected

b.      Innovation Actions – Proposals requesting a Small contribution are expected

c.        Coordination and Support Actions