The BEACON project set out in 2015 to solve the problem of federated cloud infrastructures.  It sought to define and implement a framework.  Inter-cloud networking  as well as security were lent extra weight as the automated technique for the deployment of applications across different clouds and data-centres required.  

There are many use cases and scenarios and the animation below gives a high level overview from the perspective of an IaaS cloud service provider and their need.  BEACON is shown delivering a multi cloud solution with automation, control and predictability.  BEACON here takes the complexity away from the traditional setup and reduces the manpower that costs business unnecessarily.  The deployment issues are solved, costs are reduced and the business can focus on expanding.

The definition of the federated cloud network framework was delivered by BEACON in 2017 along with its implementation.  

The BEACON project delivered both a definition of the federated cloud network framework and an implementation.  The core management componenets - BEACON Network Manager & BEACON Network Agent make up the core network management components along with other components that enhance the deployment and running of applications using the federated network.  The BEACON Broker was born of the need to federate the different cloud platforms and allow for the cross deployment of applications across those platform and demonstrate that this worked as it should.  

Industrial case studies validated the BEACON Framework as different types of federations were experimented with.  An integration was achieved through the inter-operations of OpenNebula and OpenStack.  The cloud manager of each platform is communicated with initially by the BEACON Broker.  The BEACON Network Agent and BEACON Network Manager  are integrated with the network manager of each platform.  Using a plugin architecture, the BEACON Network Manager provides the necessary support for interoperability.  

BEACON Architecture for Cloud Network Federation

BEACON Architecture for Cloud Network Federation

The integration demo shown in the video [below] shows a multi-cloud application being deployed across three different cloud infrastructures, with mixed management technologies: OpenNebula and OpenStack. The application is based on Lufthansa's flight scheduler, and implements a "Follow the Sun" policy, ensuring that the client always connects to the nearest datacenter, thus reducing latency. A BEACON manifest is used to instruct each platform on the set of VMs they need to spawn in order to sustain the multi-cloud application.  Afterward, the BEACON Network Manager component is explicitly called to interconnect the different components of the application using a federated network, which is one of the major functionalities developed by BEACON. Finally, an elasticity event is triggered -in this case, a clock shift- to see how the elasticity manager reacts by spawning new VMs that will serve customers with the advantage of locality. Everything is automated and ca be run unattended. This is just one example of the multiple use cases that BEACON enables!

The licensing of each of the BEACON tools is assigned to an owner and available on the Open Source Page.  All code has been written under open source lincensing and the individual licence can be found with each individual download.  

Point of Contact:  Philippe Massonet - philippe.massonet@cetic.be