The problem that SUNFISH is trying to solve is the lack of infrastructure and technology allowing Public Sector players to federate their private clouds. To date, legislative barriers often make it difficult to use many commercial technological solutions (e.g. Public Sector entities in many EU countries cannot have system administrators resident in non-EU countries).
Thus, the SUNFISH project aims identifying specific and new solutions to face issues related to the lack of the necessary infrastructure and technology that would allow the European Public Sector Players to integrate different clouds, maintaining, at the same time, information security levels as required by European Public sector bodies.
In particular, main services provided by SUNFISH’s “Federation-as-a-Service” approach, are:
• Federation Administration
• Runtime and Offline Monitoring
• Data Security Assurance
• Data Transformation Services
The SUNFISH platform, a solution tailored specifically for public sector bodies, is currently being implemented by three “use case” consortium partners:
• The Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF)
• The Maltese Ministry for Finance (MFIN)
• The South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU)
Indeed, SUNFISH outputs seek to satisfy the functional requirements and the organisational needs of all the actors involved in the real-world application of the cases. However, the SUNFISH project potentially has an even wider target market than the public sector bodies. In fact, the SUNFISH platform is being developed to be usable by both Public Sector Institutions, as well as private sector players.
Nowadays, the privacy and control of information propagation are becoming more and more relevant issues in the public sector. Through these new technologies, the SUNFISH consortium aims at improving security in federated “national”, as well as “cross-border”, clouds.
The impact of the wider adoption of cloud federation technologies will enable a greater infrastructure usage efficiency, encouraging a better resource utilization of the cloud infrastructures of the Public Administration bodies, thanks to a more effective workload management between shared private clouds.
During the project, a secure approach for federating private clouds is being developed, in order to guarantee a high level of safety for EU citizens and businesses who benefit from Public Services. In addition, a continuous monitoring of inter-cloud communications will be provided, as well as the ability to share services between different private clouds, in a fast, flexible and secure way with reduced management costs of IT infrastructure for Public Sector Entities.
SUNFISH’s unique selling point consists in the new approach it has defined, called “Federation as a Service (FaaS)”, a solution designed for the public sector, able to assure dynamic and secure management of cloud federations. Key functionalities:
• Democratic governance
• Dynamic federation
• Innovative privacy-preserving services
Furthermore, SUNFISH fosters a principled first-time advanced exploitation of blockchain technology for realising the federation’s registry.
SUNFISH reduces the deployment and operating expenditure of cloud environments due to the proposed `Federation-as-a-Service’ approach. It also reduces the cost of dealing with service failure, data privacy and cyber risks. This is made possible also by the fact that SUNFISH utilises - in an innovative way - the blockchain technology for managing access control policies, monitoring data communication and storing sensitive data items. Moreover, SUNFISH enables potential for new services provided by public sector bodies.
The SUNFISH project is also contributing to improve citizen’s trust in cloud-based services and is helping to ease legislative issues on data sharing.
Finally, SUNFISH’s deployment leads to lower energy use and consequently lower CO2 emissions, due to higher efficiency of services provided by the SUNFISH platform.
As a last point, SUNFISH technical achievements are proving to be useful to move a step ahead in the R&D domain related to cloud computing. For example - over other initiatives - the project is improving the application of blockchain technologies to cloud computing solutions.
SUNFISH cloud “Federation-as-a-Service” (FaaS) : http://www.sunfishproject.eu/documents/faas/