BEACON Has Been Approved!

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The team met for a final preparation meeting at the offices of CETIC in Charleroi, Belgium to fine tune presentations and get ready to sit before the European Commission in Brussels.  We are very pleased to announce that the commission have passed our project which has taken two and a half years to create and the BEACON product is now set to take it's part in the world of cloud federation as a living deliverable.   

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BEACON Presented at FICloud 2017

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On 22/08/2017 Philippe Massonet presented the paper "Security in Lightweight Network Function Virtualisation for Federated Cloud and IoT" at FICloud 2017 (The IEEE 5th International Conference on Future Internet of Things and Cloud) in Prague, Czech Republic. The paper describes how the BEACON security architecture for federated cloud networking could be extended to federate with sensor networks. The paper proposes securing sensor networks at the edge using Network Function Virtualisation and Service Function Chaining. A key conclusion drawn from discussions at the conference is that there is a need for lightweight NFV/SFC. NFV/SFC solutions for clouds assume the availability of cloud resources to scale and adapt to processing demand. Sensor and actuator networks with limited processing and storage resources need lightweight NFV/SFC solutions.

Read it here

Internet Computing magazine publishes BEACON philosophy and architecture

A new article, titled “Interoperable Federated Cloud Networking”, has been published in the IEEE Internet Computing magazine. The paper highlights the motivations and philosophy of the BEACON project and describes the high level architecture of the BEACON framework for federated cloud networking.

The article can be downloaded from the publisher using its DOI link. The postprint version will be made available in open access in the UCM’s institutional repository and will be also linked from OpenAIRE.

The abstract and introduction follows:

The open source BEACON framework enables the provision of federated cloud infrastructures, with special emphasis on intercloud networking and security issues, to support the automated deployment of applications and services across different clouds and datacenters.

With the growing number of infrastructure cloud services becoming available, there are many benefits to interconnecting several cloud services in the form of a federation. Different cloud federation types such as cloud bursting, cloud brokering, or cloud peering have been proposed to provide the necessary mechanisms for sharing computing, storage, and networking resources. From big companies and large cloud providers interested in unifying and consolidating multiple datacenters to small- and medium-sized businesses building hybrid cloud configurations, federated cloud networking supports the automated deployment of applications across different clouds and datacenters.

There is indeed a strong industry demand for automated solutions to federate cloud network resources and to derive the integrated management cloud layer that enables an efficient and secure deployment of resources and services independent of their location across distributed infrastructures. This article describes the BEACON framework for federated cloud networking and its associated reference architecture. BEACON provides many advanced features for the federation of cloud networks, such as automated high availability, datacenter location-aware elasticity, automated service function chains (SFCs), and security across clouds. BEACON is open source and available at Some of its innovative features have contributed to the OpenNebula and OpenStack cloud management platforms.

BEACON is driven by use cases of service and cloud providers. One example that illustrates how BEACON leads to improvements in user experience is interactive flight scheduling. Because of the nature of their business functional requirements, the application services are split into write- and read-intensive modules, which can be located in different geographical locations. For read modules, the latency is critical, so these are set to the closest datacenter to minimize the network latency. For write modules, high availability is required to ensure data integrity, so they’re replicated on multiple datacenters.

BEACON Represented at Poster Session at SummerSOC 2017, Crete

Managing Director of industrial partner flexiOPS, Craig Sheridan and University of Messina Associate Professor Massimo Villari represented BEACON at the poster session at this year's Symposium on Service Oriented Computing on Crete. The well established summer school has proven to have been a great opportunity for generating interest and feedback on not only the concepts but also the results of BEACON.  

1st IEEE International Workshop on Federated Networking, Clouds and IoT

Several BEACON partners presented papers at the FENCI 2017 (IEEE International Workshop on Federated Networking, Clouds and IoT) workshop co-located with the SmartComp 2017 conference in Hong Kong.

Dario Bruneo from the University of Messina presented the paper Orchestrated multi-cloud application deployment in OpenStack with TOSCA. The paper explored using a standard for “Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications” in order to deploy applications and virtual network functions in an OpenStack based Federated cloud.

Anna Levin presented the paper “Network Monitoring in Federated Cloud Environment”. The paper explores using the open source real-time network topology and protocols analyzer Skydive for monitoring federated cloud networks.

Philippe Massonet presented the article "End-to-end Security Architecture for Federated Cloud and IoT Networks" at the FENCI 2017 workshop. The paper is a collaboration between CETIC, the University of Messina and IBM research in Israel. The paper proposes to connect IoT devices and cloud services using a federated cloud network. The paper then proposes a security architecture to protect the federated cloud network using network function virtualisation (NFV) and service function chaining.

Philippe Massonet also presented the paper “Deployment-time multi-cloud application security” at the at the FENCI 2017 workshop. The paper explores protecting applications that are deployed in a federated cloud network by performing vulnerability analysis upon deployment of virtual machines and deploying application level firewalls.

This work has been supported by the BEACON project, grant agreement number 644048, funded by the European Unions Horizon 2020 Programme under topic ICT-07-2014

BEACON Plenary Meeting, Messina

The BEACON Consortium met for the last time before the final review in what turned out to be a highly productive and energising two day event.  The meeting was hosted by the University of Messina, at the Faculty of Engineering in Sicily and allowed partners to consolidate code, bring demo materials together and present the work done in each of the work packages.  

Confidence is high throughout the consortium and the overall project looks in good shape for the final phase.  The review is scheduled to take place in October.