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Cloud Brokerage Across Borders for Mobile Users and Applications

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - BASMATI (Cloud Brokerage Across Borders for Mobile Users and Applications)

Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2018-07-31

Mobile app users are expecting a constant delivery of service from their mobile apps disregarding their location. This fact results in two major problems for the application developer: a) increased network latency between the client and the backend infrastructure, especially in long distance movements and b) fluctuating load patterns to the backend infrastructure due to the non uniform distribution of user concentration in an area over time.

To battle those two problems, application developers may turn to mixed cloud/edge environments to host the mobile app backends. This allows the dynamic invocation of cloud resources in various locations where the users appear but also the effective distribution of the load between edge and cloud resources.

BASMATI advocates that there is room for improvements in this model, especially with the minimization of the cost of QoS provisioning leveraging on the facts that: a) Cloud providers are not offering the same resources, at the same price and under the same availability in every location; b) the edge resources are not efficiently utilized based on the user concentration.

As such, BASMATI embraced the concept of cloud federation and computation offloading and implemented tools that facilitate the needs of the application developer for the deployment of a mobile application with minimized SLA violations and costs.
Towards this direction, BASMATI implemented the following key-enabling artefacts:
- Tools to dynamically deploy application components across highly heterogeneous resources in mixed multi-cloud/edge environments (Cloud & Edge Providers Management, Resource Broker)
- Decision making tools to proactively deploy application components and optimize resource utilization (Decision Maker, Knowledge Extractor, Federation Data Management, Federation Monitoring)
- A business model for a sustainable cloud federation and tools to support it (Federation Business Logic, Decision Maker)
- A specification of the application characteristics but also requirements that initiates the orchestration of the abovementioned tools (BEAM specification, Application Repository)
"During the first 12 months of the project the consortium focused on analysing the use cases, extracting the requirements that stem from the novel business goals set by application owners and then specifying the functionality that is needed in order to to meet those requirements.The BASMATI components that implemented the given functionality were implemented and versions of the applications enhanced by selected BASMATI components were created. These ""BASMATI-enhanced"" applications were piloted and evaluated under real conditions and data.

The BASMATI versions of MVD and TripBuilder were evaluated in a lab environment in the context of real scenarios whereas the BASMATIzed Large Events use case was evaluated both in lab conditions and production system settings during the music festival “DASFEST”. The evaluation was done after the completion of all tests.

When the definition of the components and the BASMATI toolkit were complete, the project started identifying the exploitable outcomes and adapted a strategy for their exploitation. This plan was followed through and several exploitation activities were reported, perhaps the most prominent being the revenue scheme for the federation of Cloud Service Providers. Furthermore, the standardization effort resulted in contributions to the ITU-T SG13 mainly for the Cloud Service Brokerage component.

- Major outputs and exploitation
* BASMATI Toolkit: Rather than seeking the universal solution for all mobile app requirements, BASMATI followed a more realistic solution and developed a set of loosely coupled software components. The application developers can pick those that better meet their business and technical requirements and “BASMATIze” their application. The integration is possible through a middleware called Amenesik Cloud Engine (ACE) which implements the OCCI standard and allows for a pub/sub interaction protocol. The majority of the components in the BASMATI software stack are going to be released as open source.

* BASMATI Enhanced Application Model (BEAM): One of the most important traits of the BASMATI toolkit is the realization of an application modelling that allows an effective answer toward the restructuring of the application backend to support user mobility. The BEAM specification is a derivative work that is based on the international standard known as Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA) and informal discussion with OASIS members are taking place for the possible inclusion of BEAM in the discussions.

* Federation Business Logic: BEAM is also the tool to store and communicate the innovative pricing models for cloud federations that have been designed within the BASMATI project. The pricing models that have been considered for BASMATI range from simple cost-based pricing models to sophisticated Shapley-value-based pricing models. Considering the requirements of BASMATI, one pricing model has been investigated in detail and comprehensive measurements conducted. The results show that federations with the appropriate pricing plans can be sustainable and efficient."
BASMATI has made significant progress in terms of developing the concept of Cloud Service Providers federation based on a clear business incentive that will potentially make a great impact on the IT economies of both EU and Korea. Furthermore, implementations of the use cases and partial integration with the BASMATI toolkit components has demonstrated the feasibility of the endeavor. In what follows, we provide further details about the abovementioned topics to justify how the project has made progress in achieving impact on a business, scientific and social level.

In summary, impact was achieved through the following achievements
- Credible demonstrations based on crossborder business and/or societal applications
* Demonstrated the feasibility of the federation of three virtual crossborder CSPs (1 Korean: ETRI Openstack, 2 European: AMEN AWS) and the deployment of the Large Events and TripBuilder applications to the federation

- Robust interoperable technologies for mobile applications on cloud platforms
* Definition of cloud service providers federation
* Federation platform: ACE multicloud manager and BEAM formalism to define applications based on OASIS TOSCA

- Joint contributions to International Standardization and/or Forum activities.
* Standardization activities related to cloud resource brokerage in ITU-T SC13 with 16 contributions for the on concept of containers and micro-services to another on-going item
* Joint proposal entitled: “Proposal of a general use case for cloud service customization in cloud service brokerage”, which was discussed in ITU-T SG13.

- Improving innovation capacity and integration of new knowledge
* Ongoing process to publicly release the large events use case dataset under ODC Open Database License (ODbL) (attribution & share-alike).

- Business Impact
* Market analysis of the current situation in Europe and Korea, aiming to allocate the niche for the solution proposed by the BASMATI toolkit
* Plans for Individual partner exploitation, Individual Components and Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) in place

- Scientific impact
* 20 publications have been accepted: 18 in international conference proceedings and 2 in journal volumes.