The Cloud4SOA initiative focuses on resolving the semantic interoperability issues that exist in current cloud computing infrastructures and on introducing a user-centric approach for applications that are built upon and deployed using cloud resources. To this end, Cloud4SOA aims to combine three fundamental and complementary computing paradigms; namely, cloud computing, Service Oriented Architectures (SOA), and lightweight semantics to propose a reference architecture and deploy fully operational prototypes.
The consortium partners of the Cloud4SOA project today announced the launch of a 3-year collaborative effort to resolve the semantic interoperability issues that exist in current clouds platforms.
Cloud computing’s quick rise to the market is flourishing due to clear industry-ready benefits: a business model to decrease capital expenditure, a "pay-as-you-go" service model, public/private/hybrid infrastructure as a service (IaaS) combinations, platform as a service (PaaS) for the developer, storage solutions, dynamic provisioning, and more.
But the cloud paradigm brings associated risks as well, with vendor “lock-in” among the top drawbacks. Cloud vendors will be pressed to ensure interoperability with parallel (and competing) platforms as users become more invested in their hosting services and environment. The future will need a compromise between vendor-distinct innovation and user-friendly standardization that allows movement of applications and data between providers.
The Cloud4SOA project will identify and analyze the semantic interoperability problems within the cloud by carrying out a comprehensive analysis, particularly focused on the PaaS layer, while including stakeholder experience, requirements, and feedback. The Cloud Semantic Interoperability Framework will be the result of this exercise, acting as a roadmap for creating such user-oriented flexible platforms.
A Cloud4SOA Reference Architecture will then be designed to resolve the most problematic semantic interoperability issues, introducing an open, generic architecture for a semantically interoperable cloud, capitalizing on service oriented architecture, lightweight semantics, and user-centric design and development principles.
To validate this architecture, Cloud4SOA will implement, deploy and evaluate its usability, applicability and adaptability by developing a proof-of-concept platform which will be applied in different scenarios and setups across three European industrial and business showcases.
In addition to its collaboration with standards bodies, Cloud4SOA will reach out to the small-to-medium enterprise (SME) participants in the European cloud market, including IaaS and PaaS providers, as well as user demands. By highlighting known and potential barriers in interoperability and portability, their consistent feedback is key towards such a framework and platform. This dynamic keeps the project practical and relevant throughout its lifecycle, needed to accurately address this rapidly evolving cloud market.
As a catalyst, Cloud4SOA will establish an expert group on cloud semantic interoperability to aid the community building process for discussion and development in Europe. This group will also be an important external feedback vehicle for project results, including the Cloud4SOA Semantic Interoperability Framework.