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Contrail Accelerates Cloud Adoption Across Europe

January 2014 by Marc Jacob

Cloud Federation Framework aims to give organizations and governments choice and flexibility in their cloud journey


 HP is collaborating with 9 organisations across Europe, including SMEs and academia, to build Contrail, the European Cloud Federation Framework, which is the first layer of the Open Computing Infrastructure for Elastic Services. The goal of the project is to help European based organizations and governments experience the full benefits of cloud by creating a blueprint which ensures the reliability of data and compute resources independent of service provider and geography. Users can interact in a transparent way with multiple cloud service providers, going beyond the current single peer-to-peer connection between a user and a selected cloud provider (cloud brokering).

 Contrail, a project co-funded by the EC 7th Framework Programme under Grant Agreement nr. 257438 (, aims to give organizations and governments choice and flexibility in their cloud journey. This means creating an extended ecosystem of partners and developers who can bring new applications to the market much more quickly. The Federation aims to foster innovation by providing transparency into infrastructure design thus allowing developers to quickly install the services and framework they want to offer.

 Cloud brokers will trigger IT-sourcing transformation. Forrester Research1 expects by 2015 a global volume of more than US$ 6 billion of cloud infrastructure subscriptions, which are purchased fully automated via cloud broker services. PaaS and SaaS services will come on top of this volume.

 The results of the Contrail project will be presented to the public at the Contrail Cloud Computing Business Day on January 23 in Rome.

 Contrail comprises three major components:

o cloud federation

o infrastructure as a service

o platform as a service

Open standards are essential for driving innovation

 Contrail takes a standards based approach to interoperability: it gives organizations choice and flexibility by allowing collaboration and data portability. The initiative was created in response to current barriers to cloud adoption which include vendor lock in and heterogeneous resources. The participants aim to encourage cloud adoption through flexible procurement and better control of service level agreements.

 In addition, the Framework aims to introduce the concept of accountability which goes beyond simple compliance or self-regulations. The Contrail Cloud Federation Framework is one step in helping organizations moving toward data protection. The resource negotiation is strongly based on SLA definition, paving the way for legal and regulatory constraint and penalty management, a must especially for Public Administration to undergo for a contract for services.

 For example, Contrail provides a layer of services to enhance a cloud provider’s offer while optimizing usage of any under-utilised resources.

Contrail is built to support heterogeneous cloud technologies, currently OpenStack and

OpenNebula, and extensible to support other cloud technologies.

Cloud-Active Region

 To address future business challenges and embrace the full benefits of the cloud, IT professionals need flexibility and choice to build cloud services across hybrid environments according to their business needs. Research conducted by HP reveals that 95 percent of IT professionals say standardisation among cloud vendors would make it easier for organisations to adopt a hybrid cloud model2.

 Instant access to an extended ecosystem of partners and developers can bring new applications to the market much more quickly. Freedom from vendor lock-in fosters innovation, provides transparency into infrastructure design and lets developers choose the tools, languages and frameworks they want to use.

“European countries will not see the full benefits of cloud unless steps are taken to deal with the remaining barriers to adoption. Some of the main actions involve getting rid of the ‘jungle’ of technical standards to enable interoperability”, said Xavier Poisson Gouyou Beauchamps, Vice President Cloud Computing, HP EMEA. “Openness is essential to making European standardisation work because it ensures reliability of data no matter which country we’re in, speeds innovation, and forces us to rethink how we approach security.” “European countries have a great tradition of progress through collaboration,” said Christine Morin, senior scientist and Head of Myriads research team, INRIA and Contrail project coordinator. “Contrail is taking another step to support the EU’s Digital Agenda, creating a blueprint for open standards and helping us to share our best ideas with each other in order to become a cloud active region.”

Participating companies or organisations

 Inria, France - project coordinator and virtual execution platform lead.

 CNR, Italy – IaaS federation lead.

 Genias, The Netherlands – communication and dissemination lead

 HP, Italy – service level agreement SLA lead.

 Linagora GSO, France – open source software technology lead.

 STFC, United Kingdom – security in virtual Infrastructure lead.

 Tiscali, Italy – application and use cases, demonstrator lead.

 VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands — ConPaaS lead

 Xlab, Slovenia – integration, testing and release management lead.

 ZIB Zuse Institute Berlin, Germany – high level services lead and XtreemFS developer.

1 Dr. Stefan Ried, “Cloud Brokers Become Change Agents”, June 2012, Forrester Research

2 HP conducted the research on-site at the Cloud World Forum 2013 conference in London with 347 attendees answering survey questions about cloud computing.

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