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The premium green multi-cloud management and optimization tool

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NUVEA (The premium green multi-cloud management and optimization tool)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2015-10-31

"The NUVEA project has the ambition to tackle the very poor efficiency of the market of Cloud computing. In fact, Cloud IT users are totally dependent on oligopolistic infrastructure suppliers, while solutions are not yet available to mitigate the environmental impact of the fantastic market growth. The necessary balance between cost-driven providers, and performance-driven customers, is not properly addressed by the available IT infrastructure management technologies, and no one can really specify or manage the “performance-on-cost” ratio of the operated infrastructures. On the one hand, customers have little control over their dedicated infrastructure and how it is managed, architectured and hosted. On the other hand, despite the struggle for market shares, providers show low efficiency in their operations, as servers are actually loaded at an average of 18% of their capacity, while energy represents around 75% of the total cost of IT infrastructures.

This is where New Generation SR introduces the NUVEA project, enabling to perform an efficient and optimized real-time selection of Cloud resources, with respect to a certain Quality of Service and energy consumption.

The objective of NUVEA is to deliver to customers a ""distributed cloud infrastructure manager online platform"" which will allow them to take over, manage, benchmark and optimize permanently their distributed IT infrastructure, independently from the underlying cloud resource provider(s), in a highly flexible and real-time manner. The NUVEA platform will start from the customer’s needs and wills, settings and preferences; its internal algorithm will elaborate and implement in real time the best possible resource allocation policy, taking into account the characteristics and monitoring parameters of all the available capacities at different providers, like energy consumption / price or equipment status (idle, critical, available…). The implementation of the allocation policy consists then in picking in real time at different providers the best combination of resources, in order to fit the customer’s needs at lowest cost and risk with respect to his preferences.
The “NUVEA interface dashboard” will give the customer a comprehensive display of the state of his infrastructure (architecture, virtual machines location and status, parameters of the different data centers involved…) as well as billing parameters, and will allow him to define or modify his own targeted “quality on cost ratio”.

NUVEA's ambition, is no less than:
o Optimize IT infrastructures uses with a totally non-intrusive management software, giving better results than “physical” improvements like innovative cooling, for lower capex,
o Give back the hand to the customer on the market of cloud computing,
o Set up a favorable environment for the emergence of a green and sovereign cloud in Europe.

To this end, the purpose of the NUVEA H2020 Phase 1 project, as a “feasibility study”, was to release the first commercial version of the NUVEA software, with technical relevance and reliability proven on “early adopters”, and to provide the definition of technical specifications required for the further development of NUVEA online platform. Beyond this technical key target, the project also planned to deliver a more detailed business-plan, supported by a deepened market study."
The NUVEA H2020 Phase 1 project has totally succeeded in delivering the expected results! The NUVEA software is now available for Audit and Optimization assignments, it has been tested at real use cases and demoed at several customers. The business plan has been completed and confronted to investors and bankers. A rich network of European and global partnerships has been developed… And the roadmap for further developments is now ready!

On a technical point of view, the starting point of the NUVEA H2020 Phase 1 project was a first version of the algorithm and interface working in a laboratory environment, which corresponded to a Technology Readiness Level 6 (Technology demonstration in a relevant environment). The first runs of the algorithm, applied to a given set of computational tasks distributed on a testing infrastructure had then proven NUVEA’s capacity to reduce energy costs by around 20%. From this starting point, the work programme led by the New Generation SR team in the frame of the Phase 1 project succeeded in delivering a product working in real environments, demoed and qualified at real potential customers, which corresponds to a Technology Readiness Level of 8+. In fact, thanks to the development effort conducted in the frame of the Phase1 project, the NUVEA software platform has now the capacity to serve two offers to any customer running a Cloud infrastructure:

1) NUVEA AUDIT: NUVEA performs an automated audit of the given use case, based on a “trace” scenario consisting in server logs and monitoring data on a representative timescale of the considered infrastructure. The audit provides an assessment of how efficiently the resources are allocated with regard to the tasks and the expected quality of service, and concludes with recommendations for optimized architecture and provisioning policies, specifically adapted to the considered use case, quantified and demonstrated by blank replays of the scenario on our testbed.

2) NUVEA OPTIMISATION: NUVEA platform, once properly connected to the customer’s infrastructure, elaborates, in accordance with the customer’s specifications and preferences, real-time provisioning recommendations able to run the infrastructure at lower energy / resource consumption level, but same quality of service. NUVEA has already 5 “on the shelf” algorithms, able to adapt to a wide range of use profiles, and can be customized to almost any specific need or particular situation.

The work program also included a full market study, in order to allow NUVEA to get in touch with the market and prepare the launch of an ambitious marketing and commercial action. This work succeeded in giving a precise knowledge of the market, its segmentation and its major trends. It was supported by an online survey, many customer face-to-face interviews, meetings with demo, and our participation in an international exhibition on the demanding US market. The outcome is a precise idea of the position of NUVEA on the value chain, and the key selling points for the different market segments.

This technical and commercial work allowed to elaborate an ambitious and credible business plan, able to support the company’s financial strategy, including fundraising of equity and bank financing options. This business plan was presented at investors and bankers, and resulted in significant additional financial support to the company’s growth.

Last but not least, the work implemented during the NUVEA H2020 Phase 1 project allowed to grow an important network of European partners, and to establish our first international contacts in the USA and India. These partnerships will be of first importance to support the future growth of the company, as they're key parts of the roadmap which concludes the project.
"Based on the technical, commercial and networking results from the NUVEA H2020 Phase 1 project, NUVEA is now ready to offer to European cloud suppliers and customers an automated tool to reduce their IT infrastructure costs while maintaining or improving their quality of service, making them more efficient and stronger on the market with a possibility to face current low-cost trend. This will favour the emergence of sovereign, private and public Clouds in Europe. In addition, by optimizing the number of servers used, and thus decreasing power consumption and related CO2 gas emission, NUVEA can act as a Green Cloud Brokering platform, which contributes to the European objectives linked with the “2020 climate and energy plan”: 20% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions (from 1990 levels) and 20% improvement in the EU's energy efficiency.
In other terms, NUVEA is now able to provide local and European Cloud services suppliers and customers with the necessary technologies to break their dependency to North American oligopolistic IT infrastructure suppliers, and thus shake the market of Cloud computing into a more efficient and customer-oriented organization.

At company level, the feasibility study allowed to fix precise goals for the next development phase:
- recruitment profiles: commercial manager, engineer, PhD...
- commercial targets: early adopter's program for the 6 first months, then 2 to 4 big accounts within 2 years, totaling 30,000 servers to optimize,
- further technical developments: develop ""use-profile tailored"" offers (HPC, SAAS), introduce cloud brokerage technologies to convert savings into value at NUVEA customers,
- research and innovation: introduce and industrialize new (already prototyped) algorithms, improve predictability, extend application cases,
- boost our impact: participate to identified professional events, issue scientific publications, enter marketplaces and distribution agreements with IT services companies, be identified as reference contributor for greener ICT.
- extend our partnerships, rooted in Europe and able to develop in the USA and India,
- finance the growth with a balanced approach between bank loans and venture capital.
This program may ideally be supported in the frame of an H2020 Phase 2 project.

At a wider level than the company's development, NUVEA ambition is to shake the market of Cloud computing with green and cost-efficient brokering technologies, to correct its poor efficiency, turn it back again to customers, increase its energy and resource awareness, and finally provide the right technologies to address the challenge of managing performance-on-cost ratio!
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Example of a running demo of NUVEA, resulting from the feasibility study