Objectives of the Contrail Project Objectives of the Contrail Project

On the home page you find an overview of the project results.

On this page we describe the original goals of the project.

Contrail goal was to vertically integrate an open-source distributed operating system for autonomous resource management in Infrastructure-as-a-Service environments, and high level services and runtime environments as foundations for Platform-as-a-Service.

The main achievement will be a tightly integrated software stack in open source including a comprehensive set of system, runtime and high level services providing standardized interfaces for supporting cooperation and resource sharing over Cloud federations.

Contrail will address key technological challenges in existing commercial and academic Clouds: the lack of standardized rich and stable interfaces; limited trust from customers; and relatively poor Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees regarding the performance and availability of Cloud resources. Addressing these important issues is fundamental to support large user communities formed of individual citizens and/or organizations relying on Cloud resources for their mission-critical applications.

The main contribution of Contrail is an integrated approach to virtualization, offering Infrastructure-as-a-Service, services for IaaS Cloud Federation, and Platform-as-a-Service. It will aim at equalling current commercial Clouds, and surpassing them in a number of selected key domains to facilitate industrial up-take of Federated Cloud computing.

The expected outputs of Contral  are as follows:

A collection of infrastructure services offering network, computation and storage as a service:

  • Virtual infrastructure networks (VIN) based on self-organizing overlays for network-controlled data;
  • Virtual cluster platforms (VCP) managing computation resources; and
  • A reliable, scalable and globally distributed file system (GAFS) for users and Cloud infrastructures.
  • Services to federate IaaS Clouds: – Identity management across Cloud federations;
  • Management of federation policies such as security and resource sharing policies;
  • SLA management at federation and node level for different resource types; and 
  • Autonomic resource management through monitoring and accounting.

A collection of PaaS services to support typical Cloud applications: – High-throughput elastic structured storage;

  • Automatic set-up and configuration of SQL servers within the Cloud; and
  • Geographically distributed key/value store.

A collection of run-time environments providing elasticity, scalability and performance dependability to selected classes of applications:

  • An efficient map/reduce implementation;
  • Scalable hosting for service-oriented applications; and
  • Autonomic workflow execution.

A collection of applications from the domains of e-business, e-science, telecommunication and media using and demonstrating the advantages of the Contrail open-source system:

  • Distributed Provision of Geo-referentiated Data;
  • Multimedia Processing Service Marketplace;
  • Clouds for High Performance Real-Time Scientific Data Analysis; and
  • Large-scale Code Analysis using Clouds for Open Source software.

Why the Contrail project was needed Why the Contrail project was needed

The Contrail Project was all about finding solutions to a rather new problem: cloud computing.

After decades in which companies used to host their entire IT infrastructures in-house, a major shift is occurring where these infrastructures are outsourced to external operators such as Data Centers and Computing Clouds. However, although this market is in rapid expansion in Europe, this growth may soon be hindered by user concerns such as lock-in within a single commercial offer (which reduces the necessary competition between many infrastructure providers), ownership and privacy issues of the data stored in the Cloud, and the lack of performance predictability of current Clouds.

To allow open access to shared computing resources, the vision of the Contrail Project is that any organization should be able to be both a Cloud provider when its IT infrastructure is not used at its maximal capacity, and a Cloud customer in periods of peak activity. Resources that belong to different operators will be integrated into a single homogeneous Federated Cloud that users can access seamlessly.