Software-Defined Edge Clouds

We envision an evolution in Cloud platforms from purely centralized data centers to more heterogeneous and distributed infrastructures integrating a myriad of devices in the edge of the Internet. On the one hand, there are growing user and enterprise concerns about trust, privacy, and autonomy that require taking the control of computing applications, data, and services away from a few central nodes (data centers) to the logical extremes (the edges) of the Internet. On the other hand, the proliferation of edge devices, increased connectivity and powerful wireless networks involve interesting opportunities for hybrid cloud services and networks in the extremes of the Internet.

The aim of this project is twofold: to provide the means for users, enterprises and institutions to retake the control of their digital resources (digital data, processing and transfer) and to deliver services to the edge such that data does not necessarily need to go beyond edge boundaries. We outline the two major research challenges:

1. Software defined controls and architectures to enable automated data management and protection of data (namely, software defined protection) for cloud repositories. Instead of relinquishing control over data, customers will have the chance to retake control, without losing the advantages of cloud processing.

2. Elastic, resilient and scalable service overlays and user-oriented cloud services built over open IP-based networks, providing a good quality of experience at the lowest economic and environmental cost. The result sought is empowering citizens and communities at the edge of Internet, to grasp the opportunity of digital participation by providing a digital ecosystem of services.

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