The target users of the outcomes of the COLA project are application developers. The targeted developers are implementing industry and/or public sector applications that require resource scalability and efficient resource utilisation. While IaaS clouds typically offer elasticity, applications cannot automatically utilise these features. Developers need to build in custom code to every single application in order to support its automatic scaling up and down.
The aim of the COLA project is to ease this pain of application developers regarding automated scalability.
COLA develops a generic set of services (called MiCADO) that provide dynamic and automated resource scalability on clouds for all (or at least a very wide range of) applications. MiCADO services can be expressed with a set of well-defined (standardised) interfaces to be easily embedded into application control code without changing the original application logic. Moreover, MiCADO services can connect to multiple cloud middleware (e.g. EC2, CloudSigma etc.) or generic cloud access layer (e.g. CloudBroker Platform) via a set of well defined (standardised) interfaces too. Data consistency, data protection, trustworthiness and access control are handled in a secure way when sharing and migrating applications within a single cloud or between heterogeneous cloud platforms.
The MiCADO toolkit, the primary product of the COLA project is designed to be utilised by generic application developers and application operators. These target user groups are supposed to be highly skilled in relation to generic software development and systems administration skills and principles. However, it is also assumed that they may not have deep and specific knowledge regarding cloud computing technologies. Therefore, the end product will be a technical solution that requires generic software engineering and system administration expertise but does not require the developer/operator to have a very deep and detailed understanding of cloud computing.
The results of the COLA project will enable generic application developers who wish to utilise cloud resources, to implement applications that automatically optimise cloud resource utilisation based on application developer/operator defined quality of service parameters.
Application developers will be able to extend their application code with MiCADO service calls (the generic set of services developed by the COLA project) in order to utilise the scalability and optimisation services at both deployment and also at run-time. Application operators will be able to define desired quality of service parameters, e.g. maximum response/completion time, maximum cost, security policy requirements etc. MiCADO services will assure that the application is deployed in an optimal way based on the defined QoS parameters.
Moreover, MiCADO services will monitor the application at run-time and will automatically scale it up or down in order to optimise application execution based on the user-defined multidimensional set of QoS parameters. Users/application operators can also modify the QoS parameters during run-time to trigger rescaling of resources, if necessary.
The MiCADO toolkit will help generic application developers and operators to develop, deploy and manage cloud-aware applications. The toolkit will fasten up the development of cloud aware applications as there is no need to custom-develop every single application from scratch. By embedding MiCADO calls into the application logic, scalable, cost effective and secure applications can be developed faster. Additionally, MiCADO assures that the developed applications are deployed on heterogeneous cloud computing resources in an optimised way based on user defined quality of service (QoS) parameters such as performance, cost and security policies. Finally, MiCADO assures that the application is managed based on the QoS parameters during run-time, and that it scales automatically to fulfil the defined QoS requirements.
MiCADO services as the outcome of the COLA project will be open source. However, companies involved in the COLA project are committed to exploit these outcomes on a commercial basis. CloudSME UG, one of COLA project partners, is planning to extend its service offering with MiCADO-based resource optimisation solutions. CloudSME UG will promote and distribute MiCADO in general during and after the lifetime of the project by offering full commercial support and consultancy in relation to the service.
The major product of CloudSME UG, the CloudSME Simulation Platform will be used within the COLA project to prototype the applicability of MiCADO is various SME and public sector use-cases. Therefore, CloudSME UG will be in the position to offer MiCADO extended simulation services to its targeted end-users, primarily SMEs from the manufacturing and engineering sectors. Additional COLA project partners, such as technology companies Saker Solutions, Outlandish LLP and Instrumentación y Componentes S.A. (Inycom) will also extend their product portfolio using MiCADO services.