CLOUDLIGHTNING – Self-Organising, Self-Managing Heterogeneous Cloud

Project start: 
Sunday, 1 February, 2015
Project end: 
Wednesday, 31 January, 2018

The CloudLightning system is a new way of provisioning heterogeneous cloud resources to deliver cloud services. It provides cloud service providers with an energy-efficient, scalable architecture for managing their cloud infrastructures and through the separation of concerns, makes this architecture more accessible to their customers.

Who is the service/solution designed for?: 

Tier 1 hyperscale cloud service providers and operators of data centers for cloud services.


How will your solution/service benefit the end-user? 

CloudLightning aims to address the problems surrounding cloud infrastructure management, service specification, and access to and provisioning of cloud resources faced by both consumers and providers of cloud services.

Currently, from a cloud service provider perspective, cloud service delivery models typically rely on over-provisioning to guarantee quality of service and accommodate unpredictable peaks in demand.

The typical cloud server operates at approximately 20% computing capacity.The output capacity could be increased to 80% without changing the server’s energy consumption, but this requires advances in resource management of the kind proposed by CloudLightning. Moreover, by using heterogeneous processing resources energy consumption can be further decreased and time to solution can be shortened.

This status quo represents a model of inefficiency, coalescing in ongoing sub-optimal energy consumption and related costs for the service provider and ultimately the consumer. Additionally, service providers must grant users access to resources to allow them to configure the service to meet their requirements, thus requiring security and access protocols to manage user access and permissions.

From a cloud consumer perspective, when interfacing with their chosen cloud service provider, they are tasked with the provisioning, configuring and optimisation of resources to meet their requirements. This requires a commensurate level of IT expertise and knowledge of the provider’s infrastructure.

How can the solution/service help you become more efficient, more secure, faster or cost-effective?: 

The self-organising, self-managing principles used by CloudLightning provide consumers with a user-friendly service level interface to explicitly declare their requirements for service delivery. They can do this by specifying their exact workflow, dataset and time deadline. Through the assembly of dynamic resource coalitions, the self-organising and self-managing system automatically and intelligently locates the required resources and chooses the most appropriate configuration to deliver that service, while respecting both the user-level SLA and the business objectives of the cloud provider.

Cloud service providers can enjoy energy-efficient, scalable management of their cloud infrastructures and better overall utilisation of service. CloudLightning’s general in-service description language is not only easy to implement, but means that the service configuration presented by the self-organising, self-managing system will always be within the constraints of the service provider’s resources thereby providing optimal resource allocation and energy consumption. The coalition formation and service deployment processes negate the need to grant users access to manually configure their service description, thus providing an additional layer of security to the provider.

CloudLightning benefits service providers with the freedom to use its resources optimally and frees the consumer of the need and expertise required to configure cloud service delivery.

Go to Market Strategy (AKA - Potential exploitation strategy) 

The exploitation of the CloudLightning project will include both Academic and Commercial exploitation.

Academic Exploitation:

Furthermore, under the academic exploitation plan, the academic partners will integrate technical developments into the teaching curricula and research agendas of their respective institutions thereby providing their institutions and graduates a competitive edge over other higher education institutions. In addition to academic papers, this will include the production of the following:

• Lecture Script

• PowerPoint Presentation and Walk Through

• Reading List and Support Resources

• Open Courseware

Commercial Exploitation:

CloudLightning’s commercial exploitation activities will focus on stakeholders with the potential of licensing or investing in the CloudLightning system. As such, the focus of the commercial exploitation plan is to engage and collaborate with the following category of stakeholder as prioritised below:  

Priority 1

 •   Independent Software Vendors

 •   Systems Integrators

 •   Cloud Service Providers

 •   Investors and Licensors

Priority 2

•   Hardware Manufacturers

•   Telecommunications and Network Service Providers

•   Industry Analysts

•   Open Source Initiatives