From a Master Thesis to CLOSER 2013
In the scope of a Master Thesis collaboration between the Université de Liège (ULg) – Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department and EURA NOVA, we have been working last year on cloud standard of service interoperability. This work has been summarized in a paper  accepted in the poster session at 3rd International Conference on Cloud Computing and Services Science, CLOSER 2013. The goal of this project was to contribute on solving the lock-in problem inherent to current cloud offerings. We based our solution on open cloud standards, mainly OCCI.
We introduced an extension of OCCI  to allow the description of services as sets of inter-related virtual machines along with their attached storage, networks and configuration settings. In that case, we decoupled the logical service topology description from the underlying virtual environment. The OCCI-based service definition is then processed by IaaS service managers to deploy and manage the service on a cloud infrastructure. We developed an open-source proof-of-concept of this tool to validate the approach. This lacks of pictures! The service description processing is depicted through the following figure:
OK but what’s the purpose?
The main idea behind this work is to let the service developer free to migrate its entire cloud service topology from one vendor to another. Going further, this approach can help to significantly reduce costs linked to infrastructure configuration in software development. Indeed, a recurring issue when developing software is dealing with server configuration, test environment, pre-production and production. For each of those environment being able to migrate and re-validate the application (the service in our case). With this kind of standardized service management, the developer would be able to have a one-click service topology migration from one environment to another, in other words to validate the application from test to pre-prod in minutes, cool isn’t’ it?
This project will be presented in May 2013, as part of the 3rd International Conference on Cloud Computing and Services Science, CLOSER 2013: http://closer.scitevents.org/
 A. Ghrab, S. Skhiri, H. Kœner, and G. Leduc. Towards a standards-based cloud service manager. In CLOSER 2013-Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Cloud Computing and Services Science, 2013. Towards A Standards-Based Cloud Service Manager
 OCCI Service Manager on GitHub: https://github.com/KoenerHerve/Service-Manager
 OCCI, http://occi-wg.org/