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Cloud Federations and SDN/NFV: the highways towards improved QoE, Cost and Energy Efficiency

posted Mar 28, 2014, 6:55 AM by Ioanna Papafili   [ updated Jul 21, 2014, 7:49 AM by Corinna Schmitt ]

FIA Athens 2014 focused on reshaping the Future Internet infrastructure for innovation. The programme featured keynotes from the public and private domains in a high-profile plenary as well as in nine parallel sessions. FIA Athens also showcased a wide range of EU project demonstrations and posters. Prior to the event, thirteen pre-FIA workshops took place and a 5G-Public Private Partnership event was organised on the last day. 

In the context of FIA Athens 2014, George D. Stamoulis (AUEB) representing SmartenIT, Roman Lapacz (PSNC) representing SmartenIT and EU-Japan FELIX and Alexander Willner (Technische Universitaet Berlin) representing FP7 Fed4FIRE and FI-PPP XIFI jointly organized a FIA working session on Cloud Federations and SDN/NFV: the highways towards improved QoE, Cost and Energy Efficiency.

The session aimed to set the stage for cloud federation, and for Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) paradigms as its enablers. Experts from the industry, academia, and NRENs addressed important questions, e.g.: How can cloud federations benefit from the use of SDN/NFV? E.g. can SDN/NFV enable the provision of services seamlessly incorporating heterogeneous services from different operators? What is the impact of SDN/NFV-enabled cloud federations to ISPs? How will their traffic management be affected?

Indeed SDN and NFV can constitute enablers for cloud federation. However, so far cloud federation has emerged only in the case of test-beds, while federation of commercial clouds has not materialized yet, mostly due to business reasons rather than to technical ones. Thus, more research should be accomplished for the development of new business and pricing models, and of incentive-based mechanism to motivate and support the collaboration of commercial clouds towards larger, integrated clouds.

Due to the very interesting presentations of the session speakers that represented various players of the market (ISPs, NRENs, academia, IEEE, EC expert group) and the fruitful discussion that followed, SmartenIT participants gained insight into current practices in cloud federations (test-beds), the role that SDN/NFV can play in this context, as well as the individual view of the respective players, their expectations and concerns. Additionally, SmartenIT participants identified the open issues and challenges that need to be addressed in order to materialize not only federations of test-beds but also federations of commercial                                                      clouds. Some of these open issues will be also considered in the remainder of the project in terms of business modeling and                                                         theoretical investigations (mainly), while they could also constitute the basis for future research and development.