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The Contrail project is proud to present its first complete set of interoperable Cloud federation tools

Name: 
Leslie Versweyveld
Organization: 
Contrail

Release 1.1 contains well tested and secure open source tools.

2012, October 23, Bled - Slovenia

Cloud computing is more and more being used. However, with the increased usage, also issues come up that seem to become more and more of a problem. Two years ago, the Contrail project set out to tackle a number of these very hard to handle problems. Now, after a long development and extensive testing phase the first set of collaborating tools is available. They can be used as independent tools or as an integrated set.

A first problem is connecting data sources from different providers into a single source for the user while letting the data provider stay in full control of his data. The Contrail solution is a Cloud file system, called XtreemFS. It is flexible, reliable and has control built in. For instance, you can say where in the world (countries, regions) your data may be stored.

Another problem is connecting Clouds in a way users can use more of them and at the time it is most convenient for them. This would prevent vendor lockin, increase availability and make use of the best fitting resources. Contrail has several tools in this area. Contrail provides a secure virtual network linking a user's virtual machines, even across different service providers.  This network is as scalable as the infrastructure itself, so can expand and contract as needed, and also provides features to connect securely to XtreemFS. The Virtual Execution Platform (VEP) and Contrail Federation allow to federate different Clouds from different providers and moving applications from one to the other.

Supporting the infrastructure is a system for federated identity management, which supports OpenID and Shibboleth login, and maps them to a single internal identity which can be used interoperably with all resources.  This infrastructure also supports delegation and user attribute management.

Clouds promise a seamless elastic environment to run applications. However, in practice one still has to possess a lot of system administrator skills to make this happen. The Contrail PaaS service (ConPaaS) takes this system administrator bottleneck out of the loop. Deploying applications that use Java, PHP, SQL, NoSQL and Hadoop is as easy as pushing a few buttons for the programmer. Using it on 1 node of a Cloud is as easy as using it on a 100 nodes.

"We are very proud of the Contrail release 1.1 software stack", says Christine Morin, Contrail project coordinator, "creating this type of new software is a major undertaking, so you are always happy when it turns out good. We have listened to comments on our previous release 1.0 and added some essential functionality, especially in making Contrail more secure".

Being state-of-the-art research software, all kinds of modern software development techniques have been applied to assure the quality of the software.
Software quality optimisation however remains a continuing process of thorough testing and evaluation.

For a quick overview of Contrail Release 1.1 and possibilities to test the software tools, please go to http://contrail-project.eu/test

About the Contrail project:

Consortium partners of the Contrail Project are: CNR, Italy; Constellation Technologies, Great Britain; Genias Benelux, The Netherlands; Hewlett-Packard Italiana s.r.l., Italy; Inria, France; Linagora, France; STFC, Great Britain; Tiscali Italia, Italy; Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Xlab, Slovenia; ZIB, Germany. Contrail is partially funded by the FP7 Programme of the European Commission under Grant Agreement FP7-ICT-257438.

http://contrail-project.eu