The Contrail Project is 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.