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DEVOPS-BASED SOFTWARE ENGINEERING FOR THE CLOUD

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - DOSSIER-Cloud (DEVOPS-BASED SOFTWARE ENGINEERING FOR THE CLOUD)

Reporting period: 2017-04-01 to 2018-12-31

"DOSSIER-Cloud implemented a series of coordination and support actions to facilitate and promote research in the area of Software Engineering for Distributed Systems development. Two internationally recognized scientific groups from the Netherlands and Italy, namely Tilburg University (TiU) and Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI) collaborated extensively with the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) aiming at strengthening CUT’s research and scientific capacity in the relevant scientific area.

The main research areas and subjects addressed in DOSSIER-Cloud were the following:
(i) Social Software Engineering
(ii) Cloud Pricing
(iii) Cloud Resource Management
(iv) Self-Adaptive Systems for the Cloud
(v) Smart data processing and visualization: Application in smart manufacturing

All of the aforementioned scientific areas and the associated activities performed in the project have a profound effect in the everyday activities of a large number of stakeholders (SMEs, businesses, market players, governmental departments and services, policy and decision makers) as they tackle problems and deal with challenges of a practical nature. The output of the research conducted provides solutions and decision support to these stakeholders and enables them to be more accurate, productive, lower their costs and increase the quality of their products or services.

DOSSIER-Cloud had three main objectives:
Objective#1: Acquire new and enhance existing knowledge on a set of research topics of interest that revolve around DevOps oriented software engineering processes and tools for distributed software systems development.
Objective#2: Share research experiences and best practices with advanced scientific groups in the leading institutions. Change the research culture and scientific approach/philosophy of CUT’s staff.
Objective#3: Form a collaboration basis with stakeholders and secure industrial involvement. Engage SMEs and practitioners to facilitate real-world experimentation and validation using real world feedback.
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The work was organised in six workpackages.

WP1 comprised the management activities for the smooth operation of the project. During the last twenty-one (21) months of execution the activities performed were concerned with the coordination between the partners to achieve the project objectives, meet the research targets and exchange knowledge and expertise within the time plan and the requested budget.

WP2 was involved with studying the software process and the phases of a life-cycle model for a DevOps oriented software development approach of distributed systems and services.

WP3 facilitated the transfer of knowledge and hands-on expertise on Cloud and distributed software and hardware environment from TiU and POLIMI to CUT members so as to deliver in the future a set of metrics and measurement processes for the development and operation of distributed software services and applications.

WP4 investigated ways for the development of an integrated, intelligent decision support or decision making system (DSS/DMS) that would rely on sensing (measuring) the environment (Cloud settings, service delivery, QoS, etc.) for suggesting or performing actions to change this environment if deemed necessary.

The target of WP5 was to apply the research outcomes (methodologies, algorithms, tools) in practice through extensive experimentation with synthetic but most importantly real-world data. This experimentation required the engagement of local business and industrial partners, and experts that would enable the joint assessment of the project’s outcomes, their calibration and enhancement.

WP6 was responsible for publishing and sharing information about the project (activities, objectives and results) with the larger scientific community of Cloud computing and distributed systems, industrial and market players and stakeholders in business sectors and the society that could benefit from this project

Two main streams of outputs were produced by the project: The preparation and submission of new proposals for EU funding and the publication of original and novel research work.

Proposals:
The meetings between the partners and the utilization of their networks of collaborators facilitated the exchange of ideas and brainstorming for the preparation of proposals to attract additional EU and national funding. In this context, six new HORIZON-2020 proposals were prepared and submitted.

Scientific publications:
Nine papers have already been published or have been accepted for publication in forthcoming conferences.
DOSSIER-Cloud investigated new areas in distributed software development with emphasis on software engineering, DevOps and automations. We investigated various subjects that lead to publications: (i) Definition of research challenges on DevOps oriented Software Engineering; (ii) Substitution of monolithic software development with the use of microservices (iii) Cloud resource management (iv) Cloud pricing (v) Self-Adaptive Systems for the Cloud and (vi) Smart data processing and visualization: Application in smart manufacturing.

The overall impact of the project was twofold:
(i) Scientific and research. Improved CUT’s research capacity, productivity and visibility; increased the significance of its research outcomes; enhanced its network of collaborators.
(ii) Industrial and market. Facilitated the formation of a stakeholder’s collaboration basis; established direct communication channels with industries, businesses and practitioners; provided the means for recording real-world problems and challenges of the industry and market in the partner countries, but mostly in Cyprus, which paved the way for applied research.
CUT, as the low RDI performing institution, managed to strengthen its scientific knowledge and expertise in the scientific areas of the project. The research challenges identified and their tackling is anticipated to improve its research position by increasing the number of high quality published research papers in the relevant fields. This has already been demonstrated through the papers that have been produced so far, which were published in journals or presented in conferences/workshops, as well as those that are currently under evaluation or are being prepared.


DOSSIER -Cloud had a high socio-economic impact. Industrial and market stakeholders (e.g. software solution developers, cloud service providers and vendors, etc.) were interested in increasing productivity, reducing development effort/cost, and improving quality of software services and applications. The consortium has managed to attract interest among specific groups of stakeholders in the participating countries and investigated collaboration with medium to large companies from various disciplines (e.g. light equipment manufacturers, automotive industry, agricultural and livestock production, shipping and finance) concerning methodologies and tools for distributed software services development and delivery, as well as smart data processing. A large number of companies/organisations were contacted by the end of the project and the objectives of the project, as well as the potential of future collaboration were discussed with them.