Wednesday, 6 July 2011

IEEE CLOUD 2011 Conference, Day 2

Day 2 started with some early research talks; these were followed by a panel session on “Security in the Cloud”, which was similar to last year’s security panel/keynote. There was also a lunchtime panel about “Enterprise Clouds vs Commodity Clouds”.

Tonight was the conference banquet; a pretty good 5-course meal, during which Paul Hofmann from SAP Research talked about SAPs worldwide presence. If you didn’t know this already, Paul provided a couple of slides full of stats to convince you. He also talked about the future of cloud in enterprises; how ERP will be in the clouds in 10 to 15 years; and differences between electrification and cloud computing. His key point was that there will be fewer CIOs in the future and their role will, primarily, be strategic.

The following is a list of talks from today; I didn’t take good notes as I was running around too much so I’ve just copied the details from the conference proceedings. It was interesting to see that IBM (specially their TJ Watson Lab) are interested in tools to support the migration of IT systems to the cloud. I guess their main aim is to develop such tools so that IBM’s consultants can start to use them over the next few years.

A Pattern-Based Approach to Cloud Transformation
Yi-Min Chee, Nianjun Zhou, Fan Jing Meng, Peide Zhong, Saeed Bagheri (Arizona State University, USA)
One problem clients face in migrating to cloud is a lack of experience and knowledge as to how best to accomplish this transformation. We propose a Cloud Transformation Advisor (CTA) which helps users to select appropriate enablement patterns from a knowledge base of best practices when performing transformation planning. This knowledge base uses a structured representation to capture applicationinformation, cloud platform capability information, and enablement pattern information in order to facilitate patternselection. We describe this representation and a mathematical model which leverages it to choose the "best" combination of patterns for a given transformation problem. We present an example which illustrates the approach, and describe the usage of the CTA.

A Saasify Tool for Converting Traditional Web-Based Applications to Saas Application
Jie Song, Feng Han, Zhenxing Yan, Guoqi Liu, Zhiliang Zhu (Northeastern University, China)
SaaS is increasingly used by web-based applications. It is significative if service providers can automatically convert traditional applications into SaaS mode, a SaaSify tool is needed urgently. In this paper, we analyze and conclude the new challenges of automatically SaaSify webbased application, propose several key technologies for SaaSifying, and further propose SaaSify Flow Language (SFL) to model and implement SaaSify process; finally, we use a case study to show the effects of proposed tool, and the performance experiments prove that the proposed approach is efficient and effective.

Migrating Service-Oriented System to Cloud Computing: An Experience Report
Muhammad Aufeef Chauhan, Muhammad Ali Babar (Mälardalen University, Sweden; IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark)
Since cloud-orientd migration projects are likely to encounter several kinds of challenges, it is important to identify and share the process and logistical requirements of migration projects in order to build a body of knowledge of appropriate process, methods, and tools. This paper purports to contribute to the growing knowledge of how to migrate existing systems to cloud computing by reporting our effort aimed at migrating an Open Source Software (OSS) framework, Hackystat, to cloud computing. We report the main steps followed, the process and technical challenges faced, and some of the strategies that helped us to address those challenges. We expect the reported experiences can provide readers with useful insights into the process and technical aspects that should be considered
when migrating existing software systems to cloudcomputing infrastructures.

Variations in Performance and Scalability when Migrating n-Tier Applications to Different Clouds
Deepal Jayasinghe, Simon Malkowski, Qingyang Wang, Jack Li, Pengcheng Xiong, Calton Pu (Georgia Tech, USA)
We aim to evaluate performance and scalability when an n-tier application is migrated from a traditional datacenter environment to an IaaS cloud. We used a representative n-tier macro-benchmark (RUBBoS) and compared its performance and scalability in three different testbeds: Amazon EC2, Open Cirrus (an open scientific research cloud), and Emulab (academic research testbed). Interestingly, we found that the best-performing configuration in Emulab can become the worst-performing configuration in EC2. Subsequently, we identified the bottleneck components, high context switch overhead and network driver processing overhead, to be at the system level. These overhead problems were confirmed at a finer granularity through micro-benchmark experiments that measure component performance directly. We describe concrete alternative approaches as practical solutions.

Migration to Multi-Image Cloud Templates
Birgit Pfitzmann, Nikolai Joukov (IBM T. J.Watson Research Center, USA)
A key vehicle by which enterprises hope to achieve reducing IT costs is cloud computing, and they start to show interest in clouds outside the initial sweet spot of development and test. As business applications typically contain multiple images with dependencies, one is starting to standardize on multi-image structures. Enterprises have huge investments in their existing business applications. The promises of clouds can only be realized if a significant fraction of these existing applications can be migrated into the clouds. We therefore present analysis techniques for mapping existing IT environments to multi-image cloud templates. We propose multiple matching criteria, leading to tradeoffs between the number of matches and the migration overhead, and present efficient algorithms for these special graph matching problems. We present results from analyzing an existing enterprise environment with about 1600 servers.

Flexible Process-based Applications in Hybrid Clouds
Christoph Fehling, Ralf Konrad, Frank Leymann, Ralph Mietzner, Michael Pauly, David Schumm (University of Stuttgart; T-Systems International GmbH Frankfurt, Germany)
Cloud applications target large costumer groups to leverage economies of scale. To increase the number of customers, a flexible application design may enable customers to adjust the application to their individual needs in a self-service manner. In this paper, we classify the required variability of these flexible applications: data variability – changes to handled data structures; functional variability – changes to the processes that the application supports; user interface variability – changes to the appearance of the application; provisioning variability – the ability of the application to be deployed in different runtime environments. Existing and new technologies and tools are leveraged to realize these classes of variability. Further, we cover architectural principles to follow during the design of flexible cloud applications and we introduce an abstract architectural pattern to enable data variability.

Elastically Ruling the Cloud: Specifying Application’s Behavior in Federated Clouds
Daniel Morán, Luis M. Vaquero, Fermín Galán (Telefonica Investigacion y Desarrollo; HP Labs, Spain)
Most IaaS clouds present limited capabilities to control how a service behaves at runtime, beyond basic low-level scalability rules for VMs. Higher-level approaches fail to provide mechanisms for a fine grained level of control of the service at runtime, being only focused on scaling. These scalability rules are based on an ad hoc “grammar” that is not expressive enough to reflect other desired control mechanisms at runtime (e.g., reconfigurations dynamic changes in the rules or in the components of the application, re-tiering, etc.). Here, we present an analysis on different alternatives for supporting such features. The Rule Interchange Format (RIF) emerges as a likely candidate to support the required flexibility and so it is proved in a typical use case. Also, a preliminary implementation of a mapping mechanism is offered to parse RIF rules to widespread rule engines such as Drools and Jess.

SLA Based Dynamic Virtualized Resources Provisioning for Shared Cloud Data Centers
Zhiliang Zhu, Jing Bi, Haitao Yuan, Ying Chen (Northeastern University; IBM Research-China)
Cloud computing focuses on delivery of reliable, secure, sustainable, dynamic and scalable resources provisioning for hosting virtualized application services in shared cloud data centers. For an appropriate provisioning mechanism, we developed a novel cloud data center architecture based on virtualization mechanisms for multitier applications, so as to reduce provisioning overheads. Meanwhile, we proposed a novel dynamic provisioning technique and employed a flexible hybrid queuing model to determine the virtualized resources to provision to each tier of the virtualized application services. We further developed meta-heuristic solutions, which is according to different performance requirements of users from different levels. Simulation experiments are reported.

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