Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


BEACON Report Summary

Project ID: 644048
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BEACON (Enabling Federated Cloud Networking)

Reporting period: 2015-02-01 to 2016-07-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Cloud federation enables cloud providers to collaborate and share their resources to create a large virtual pool of resources at multiple network locations. Different types of federation architectures for clouds and datacenters have been proposed and implemented (e.g. cloud bursting, cloud brokering or cloud aggregation) with different level of resource coupling and interoperation among the cloud resources, from loosely coupled, typically involving different administrative and legal domains, to tightly coupled federation, usually spanning multiple datacenters within an organization. In both situations, an effective, agile and secure federation of cloud networking resources is key to impact the deployment of federated applications.

There is a strong industry demand for automated solutions to federate cloud network resources, and to derive the integrated management cloud layer that enables an efficient and secure deployment of resources and services independent of their location across distributed infrastructures. From big companies and large cloud providers interested in unifying and consolidating multiple data centers or cloud sites to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) building hybrid cloud configurations, federated cloud networking is needed to support the automated deployment of applications across different clouds and data centers.

BEACON will deliver a homogeneous virtualization layer, on top of heterogeneous underlying physical networks, computing and storage infrastructures, providing enablement for automated federation of applications across different clouds and datacenter.

The new inter-cloud network capabilities will be leveraged by existing open source cloud platforms, OpenNebula and OpenStack, to deploy multi-cloud applications. In particular, different aspects of the platforms will be extended to accommodate the federated cloud networking features like multi-tenancy, federated orchestration of networking, compute and storage management or the placement and elasticity of the multi-cloud applications.

The objectives of the BEACON project are:
to research and develop techniques to federate cloud network resources
to derive the integrated management cloud layer that enables an efficient and secure deployment of federated cloud applications.
to deliver a homogeneous virtualization layer, on top of heterogeneous underlying physical networks, computing and storage infrastructures, providing enablement for automated federation of applications across different clouds and datacenters

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

"The BEACON consortium agreed on software requirements for the various iterations of the project. Partners agree on how to refine the use cases and on how to integrate the federated networking architecture in OpenNebula and OpenStack. These use cases were refined and the set of requirements that needed to be implemented were split in different iterations. Each iteration focused on key features needed to demonstrate the potential of BEACON.

Then the BEACON consortium detailed the design and started the development.

An agreement was also found on the responsibilities of the Federation Manager and on a common API and how all theses components should integrate into the cloud middleware of OpenNebula and OpenStack. The development plan was then refined to accommodate this.

Two testbeds for the integration of the federated networking architecture in OpenNebula and OpenStack were set up.
The focus was then put on the use case demos, their validation and their deployment on the testbeds.

Two iterations of the BEACON framework were completed. These iterations implemented the BEACON Architecture with the main components "Federation Agent", "Federated SDN", "Federated Datapath" and "Federated SDN Security". In order to implement federated networking at OpenStack level, a dashboard named OpenStack-to-OpenStack was also designed and a first version was deployed on the testbed.

Finally the work was targeted to a more detailed presentation on how the BEACON framework would be secured using virtual network function, service function chaining and service manifest to name a few.

At dissemination and exploitation level:
The website of BEACON ( was created and 15 blog posts were published. These post presented the partners, the participation of the BEACON consortium to cloud related events and the proposed BEACON architecture in a few technical posts.
The BEACON partners participates to more than 10 conferences and workshops (OpenNebula Conf, CloudExpo Europe, CloudScape or VMWorld to name a few) a published various papers related to the cloud federation. The complete list of participation and papers is available in the Dissemination.
A market analysis on the potential of BEACON was performed and it is described in the Business Impact Report. This shows that BEACON is well positioned to have a major impact.
The 3 use cases targeted the following needs of the identified potential stakeholders of the BEACON framework: High availability of applications, Location-aware elasticity and finally Security.
The Business Impact report has highlighted a strong economic potential for the BEACON framework thanks to the market analysis that was performed. Each partner has also described its business model canvas and its exploitation roadmap.

At Management level:
After the kick-off of the project held in Charleroi in February 2015, 4 additional synchronization meetings were organized: Madrid in May 2015, Taormina in September 2015, Haifa in February 2016 and Edinburgh in June 2016. Weekly conference calls were also organized to keep the BEACON partners in synchronization with each other."

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)

The first iteration of the project has focused on integrating the federated cloud networking architecture into OpenNebula and OpenStack. This enables these platforms to build federated cloud networks thanks to two basic components: the federation agent and the federated SDN. The federated SDN is reponsible for managing the federated networks and gathering the required data to link different network segments. The federation agent is responsible for creating data paths between the different cloud platforms of the federated network.

In the second iteration of the project the BEACON architecture has been tested in OpenNebula to OpenNebula/Amazon AWS federations, and OpenStack to OpenStack federations. Initial work on securing the federated cloud network has been started using a service manifest to describe the deployment of virtual network functions and their chaining within the federated cloud network.

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