Global Analyst Insights by Rene Buest

TClouds – The Trustworthy cloud computing future begins now

By on Januar 14, 2011 in Basics with 0 Comments

TCLOUDS puts its focus on privacy protection in cross-border infrastructures and on ensuring resilience against failures and attacks. TCLOUDS aims to build prototype internet-scale ICT infrastructure which allows virtualised computing, network and storage resources over the Internet to provide scalability and cost-efficiency.
In prototype development, it is a priority to address the challenges of cross-border privacy, end-user usability, and acceptance that are essential for widespread acceptance of such an infrastructure.

Facts

  • Start date: 2010-10-01
  • End date: 2013-09-30
  • Duration: 36 months
  • Project cost: € 10.536.129,00
  • Project funding: € 7.500.000,00

Mission of TClouds

  • To develop an advanced cloud infrastructure that can deliver computing and storage that achieves a new level of security, privacy, and resilience yet is cost-efficient, simple, and scalable.
  • To change the perceptions of cloud computing by demonstrating the prototype infrastructure in socially significant application areas: energy and healthcare.

Motivation

State-of-the-art cloud computing enables seamless access to services and global availability of information, but inherent risks severely limit the application of this technology.

In a cloud environment, pertinent data is accessed via information and communications technology (ICT) using remote hardware instead of being stored only on a local server or computer. The benefits of increased storage at reduced cost allow information to be made readily available.

However, the current cloud computing model comes with perceived risks concerning resilience and privacy. There are three fundamental trends in ICT whose risks mutually reinforce each other:

  • the push towards an Internet of Services – most services are provided on the web as a platform;
  • cost pressures drive a migration of ICT into so-called Infrastructure clouds;
  • growing importance of ICT as the critical “nervous system” for socially relevant „smart“ infrastructures – such as healthcare, energy, environmental monitoring, or mobility.

Protecting data and services in the cloud is important to governments,organizations and enterprises across all industries, including healthcare, energy utilities, and banking. Thus, the perceived security and dependability risks of cloud computing are limiting its application.

The TClouds project targets cloud computing security and minimization of the widespread concerns about the security of personal data by putting its focus on privacy protection in cross-border infrastructures and on ensuring resilience against failures and attacks.

Objectives

Trustworthy Clouds (TClouds) aims to build a prototype Internetscale ICT infrastructure which allows virtualized computing, network, and storage resources over the Internet to provide scalability and cost-efficiency. The following objectives contribute to achieving the overall goal:

  • Identifying and addressing the legal and business implications and opportunities of a widespread use of infrastructure clouds, contributing to building a regulatory framework for enabling resilient and privacy-enhanced cross-border infrastructure clouds.
  • Defining an architecture and prototype for securing infrastructure clouds by providing security enhancements that can be deployed on top of commodity infrastructure clouds (as a cloudof-clouds) and assessing the resilience and privacy benefits of security extensions of existing clouds.
  • Providing resilient middleware for adaptive security on the cloud-of-clouds. The TClouds platform will provide tolerance and adaptability to mitigate security incidents and unstable operating conditions for a range of applications running on such clouds-of-clouds.

To demonstrate TClouds, scientists will prototype two scenarios involving critical IT- systems:

  • A smart energy grid with Portugal’s leading energy and solution providers Energias de Portugal and EFACEC: TClouds will show how such energy-preserving systems can be migrated to a cloud infrastructure while increasing their resilience, privacy protection and tolerance against both hackers and hardware failures.
  • A patient-centric home healthcare service with San Raffaele Hospital in Milano, Italy, will remotely monitor, diagnose and assist patients outside a hospital setting. TClouds will demonstrate how the quality of in-home healthcare can be improved cost-efficiently without reducing privacy.

Strategy

The work plan of TClouds encompasses four independently managed Activities and twelve tightly integrated Work Packages.

Activity A1:

Legal and Business Foundations for Cross-border Computing
A1 is responsible for legal and regulatory guidance, the privacy impact assessment for cross-border clouds, and viable business models for cloud providers.

Activity A2:

Trustworthy Internet-scale Computing Platform
A2 is responsible for the TClouds platform. This platform includes trustworthy individual clouds that are based either on extending commodity clouds or on strengthening cloud operation software.

Activity A3:

Benchmark Application & User-centric Evaluation
A3 is responsible for delivering the Smart Power Grid and Home Healthcare cloud scenarios as well as self-evaluation and self improvement through end-user and expert feedback.

Activity A4:

Programme Management and Dissemination
A4 is responsible for wide and effective dissemination as well as the proper programme management that ensures timely and high-quality delivery of all results while mitigating emerging conflicts.

Source and more information at http://www.tclouds-project.eu.

About the Author

About the Author: Rene Buest is Gartner Analyst covering Infrastructure Services & Digital Operations. Prior to that he was Director of Technology Research at Arago, Senior Analyst and Cloud Practice Lead at Crisp Research, Principal Analyst at New Age Disruption and member of the worldwide Gigaom Research Analyst Network. Rene is considered as top cloud computing analyst in Germany and one of the worldwide top analysts in this area. In addition, he is one of the world’s top cloud computing influencers and belongs to the top 100 cloud computing experts on Twitter and Google+. Since the mid-90s he is focused on the strategic use of information technology in businesses and the IT impact on our society as well as disruptive technologies. Rene Buest is the author of numerous professional technology articles. He regularly writes for well-known IT publications like Computerwoche, CIO Magazin, LANline as well as Silicon.de and is cited in German and international media – including New York Times, Forbes Magazin, Handelsblatt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Computerwoche, CIO, Manager Magazin and Harvard Business Manager. Furthermore Rene Buest is speaker and participant of experts rounds. He is founder of CloudUser.de and writes about cloud computing, IT infrastructure, technologies, management and strategies. He holds a diploma in computer engineering from the Hochschule Bremen (Dipl.-Informatiker (FH)) as well as a M.Sc. in IT-Management and Information Systems from the FHDW Paderborn. .

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