The increasing interest in hybrid clouds and cloud federations in general raises many challenges in how to deal with the heterogeneity of different cloud platforms. The BEACON solution recommends the federation of virtual networks in order to form a federated cloud network that connects all cloud virtual machines that need to interact. The main advantages are that the federated cloud network is isolated from other traffic and is independent of the underlying software and hardware. Another important advantage from the security point of view is that the federated cloud network can be protected with a specific global network security policy. The global security policy is enforced with network function virtualisation (NFV) and service function chaining (SFC).
The BEACON solution is designed for user of private cloud platforms such as OpenStack and OpenNebula that want to build hybrid clouds and link to public cloud platforms such as Amazon WS. More specifically it allows OpenNebula users to build a federated cloud network for hybrid clouds connected to Amazon WS for example. For OpenStack users it allows for them to build a federated cloud network for an OpenStack federation.
The BEACON solution automates the management of federated cloud networks. Federating cloud networks and managing them by hand is a time consuming and error prone activity. BEACON provides a federated cloud network management component that creates and monitors the federated cloud network based on a service manifest that defines the network topology.
The BEACON solution makes the management of federated cloud networks more efficient. It achieves this by automating federated cloud management. In addition it makes it easy to define and deploy user defined general network security policies for the federated cloud network.