Interview November 2012

Nov 01 2012

"An open and extensible multi-Cloud management platform for distributed applications that will integrate a number of different components that cover the whole lifecycle of applications"

OpenCloudware Interview: Alexandre Lefebvre, Orange Project Lead and OW2 CTO

How would you present the OpenCloudware project?

OpenCloudware is one of five OW2 collaborative projects based on innovative research that is being developed by our members in the open source community. Specifically, our project addresses a range of different needs as we move towards an open Cloud platform. To this end, the project supports an entire lifecycle of distributed enterprise applications that need to run on the Cloud. These include components for modeling, building, and deploying, as well as others coming onto the platform. In managing these applications, we require the ability to run them on a multitude of Cloud infrastructures, which involves a choice of different Clouds and hybrid Cloud scenarios. We will also be able to extend the OpenCloudware platform to take into account new middleware that may not have been initially included. In short, OpenCloudware is an open and extensible multi-Cloud management platform for distributed applications that will integrate a number of different components that cover the entire life-cycle of applications and are customizable and extensible.

What is your role in the project?

Orange is the project lead for OpenCloudware and responsible for the overall management of the project. Orange leads work package 3 (Deploy and run) and contributes extensively to work package 4 (IaaS) on multi-cloud management with the Sirocco open source project. We also contribute to work package 1 (modeling and architecture), and lead work package 7 (middleware). In addition, Orange has brought our extensive industrial R&D viewpoint to the table in a project use case on Benchmarking as a Service, along with other "real life" use cases. In terms of dissemination, we participate in work package 8 alongside OW2 and the other 16 project partners, including large companies, SMEs, non-profit organizations and universities.

What key innovations do you bring or are helping to develop?

Our contributions come from the Orange Labs teams that have expertise in these areas.

  • Modeling: we contribute our expertise of distributed application modeling and our knowledge of standards for representing distributed applications. The challenge here is to model the overall application architecture and the expected QoS (Quality of Service) and those of the underlying infrastructure.
  • Deployment: we work on the reliable deployment of distributed applications composed of several virtual machines where the challenges are run-time elasticity or self-sizing the ability to adjust at run-time the application architecture and adding or deleting nodes depending on the load and Quality of Service. Fortunately, Orange has a long experience of work in autonomic computing, including previous participation in the SelfXL collaborative research project (click on http://selfxl.gforge.inria.fr for details). We have extended our work on autonomic in OpenCloudware in order to deal with elasticity of the distributed applications deployed. In addition, security researchers at Orange Labs contribute to self-protection regarding reliability. Finally, making the platform extensible so as to be able to incorporate any future middleware is seen as an architecture challenge for the project.
  • Monitoring, management and billing: Orange contributes to the monitoring and billing components of the platform. The complexity comes from the aggregation of numerous sources of events and metrics to monitor and the ability to apply any billing model on top of these metrics.
  • Multi cloud management: Orange contributes to the OW2 Sirocco project for multi-cloud infrastructure management, which we also lead. The heterogeneity of underlying Cloud infrastructures is one of the challenges we are trying to meet.
  • Test as a Service: Orange contributes to the OW2 CLIF load injection project with an extension of CLIF in order to provide a Benchmarking as a Service facility (click on http://clif.ow2.org for more details).


A word about Alexandre Lefebvre and Orange.

Alexandre-Lefebvre.jpgAlexandre Lefebvre has been working as a researcher and team leader at France Telecom Orange Labs R&D for about 10 years. His technical background is in deductive databases and persistence. He is now working in R&D in the middleware field with a focus on Cloud and Open Source. Involved with OW2 from the very start, Alexandre is currently CTO of the OW2 Consortium.

Orange is interested in the OW2 OpenCloudware collaborative project as a means to co-develop its research with the other project partners. Even though engineers participating in OpenCloudware come from Orange Labs, the results of OpenCloudware have been identified as being of potential interest for Orange's future Cloud offerings for internal IT customers and external Orange clients. Moreover, Orange is excited about the prospects of using the OpenCloudware software within CloudWatt, the new name of Androm├Ęde (click on http://cloudwatt.fr for more details).


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