SWITCH - Software Workbench for Interactive, Time Critical and Highly self-adaptive Cloud applications

What user need or pain point is your project addressing?

Time critical applications often involve distributed components, and intensive data communication. For instance, applications which address disaster warning issues often include remotely deployed sensors, and many live event television broadcast scenarios require direction of multiple outdoor video sources.

The development of such applications is usually difficult and costly, because of the high requirements for the runtime environment, and in particular the sophisticated optimisation mechanisms needed for developing and integrating the system components. In the meantime, a Cloud environment provides virtualised, elastic, controllable and quality on demand services for supporting systems like time critical applications. However, the engineering method and software tools for developing, deploying and executing classical time critical applications have not yet included the programmability and controllability provided by the Clouds. Time critical applications cannot yet get the full potential benefits which Cloud technologies could provide.

It has therefore become imperative to develop such software methods and tools. SWITCH will develop the software methods and tools for the entire lifecycle of time critical Cloud applications.

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How will your solution/service benefit the end-user?

The SWITCH project aims to achieve a major break-through in the development of time critical Cloud applications. The complexity of time critical Cloud applications makes their development much more difficult than development either of classical time critical applications or of normal Cloud applications. Simply applying existing approaches cannot maximize the usage of Cloud environments for time critical applications, because little consideration of Cloud programmability is currently taken in the development of time critical applications. With the new approach developed by the SWITCH project, the user is able to include controllability of the infrastructure as part of the application specification, and make the system self-adaptable in the Cloud.

The programming and control model, and the software tools developed in the SWITCH project, will make considerable impact on

  1. Improving development productivity of time critical Cloud applications,
  2. Upgrading industrial technologies of time critical applications to use Cloud infrastructure,
  3. Improving deployment efficiency of time critical applications,
  4. Reducing operational cost of time critical services,
  5. Promoting business competitiveness of Clouds.