Cloud4SOA – Bringing Interoperability & Portability to PaaS

Focus: Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a novel, rapidly growing segment in the cloud computing market, offering an abstracted development and deployment environment that can simplify the life of a developer in any domain. However, unlike Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), we are not dealing simply with raw compute and storage, but often a customised environment that builds on innovation more than IaaS commodity focused offerings.

This brings to light larger complications in interoperability, and particularly for PaaS, the concept of application portability. Developers and SaaS providers can benefit greatly from PaaS, but are often weary of the making an “all eggs in one basket” investment in a particular platform as-a-Service model, as well as the fear of finding themselves in a situation of vendor lock-in or incompatibility with other adopted solutions in parallel.

This is where Cloud4SOA comes into play, interconnecting public and private platform vendors for the developer to help compare, manage and migrate between vendors. Cloud4SOA offers an open-source added value feature set for PaaS customers: developers and SaaS providers oriented towards SMEs, large industry or the public sector. PaaS providers can also leverage the benefits of being part of a larger ecosystem: gaining greater visibility and wider compatibility of third-party services via their existing API.

Partnership: Atos, Spain; CERTH (Centre for Research and Technology Hellas), Greece; cloudControl, Germany; Cyntelix, Netherlands; DERI, Italy; Fraunhofer FIT, Germany; Telecom Portugal; Singualar Logic, Greece; RomTelecom, Romania

Impact achieved: As the European private and public sector continue to invest in cloud solutions, we are witnessing more advanced, mature scenarios arriving, such as orchestration, multi-cloud infrastructures or modular, open cloud stacks. Cloud4SOA advances this area by interconnecting platforms for added-value capabilities such as multi-platform management, comparative monitoring and application portability across collaborating or competing offerings. This empowers European SME and large enterprise developers, as well as up and coming PaaS providers with the same impact as the EC Cloud Strategy’s focus on standards: interoperability, data portability and reversibility. While Cloud4SOA supports such future standards, it also provides a solution that works today.

Beyond its initial capabilities, Cloud4SOA prepares for a wider potential as the PaaS segment of cloud computing evolves, pointing towards concepts such as the federation of multiple platforms and management between hybrid use cases of public and private PaaS. We are already seeing this evolution with flexible open source platforms such as Cloud Foundry, appearing in both public/private implementations, and supported by a growing number of third-party services that leverage the “ecosystem”. Cloud4SOA helps to push this on a larger scale, not only across various implementations of a single platform, but also across multiple platforms and multiple vendors.