TClouds â€“ Trust and Resilience for Internet-Scale Critical Infrastructure
I am the technical leader of the EU TClouds Project http://www.tclouds-project.eu
The mission of the TClouds project is:
- To develop an advanced cloud infrastructure that can deliver computing and storage that achieves a new level of security, privacy, and resilience yet is cost-efficient, simple, and scalable.
- To change perceptions of cloud computing by demonstrating the prototype infrastructure in socially significant applications: energy and health care.
State-of-the-art cloud computing enables seamless access to services and global availability of information, but inherent risks severely limit the application of this technology.
In a cloud environment, pertinent data is accessed via information and communications technology (ICT) using remote hardware instead of being stored only on a local server or computer. The benefits of increased storage at reduced cost allow information to be made readily available.
However, the current cloud computing model comes with perceived risks concerning resilience and privacy. There are three fundamental trends in ICT whose risks mutually reinforce each other:
- the push towards an Internet of Services – most services are provided on the web as a platform;
- cost pressures drive a migration of ICT into so-called infrastructure clouds;
- growing importance of ICT as the critical nervous system for socially relevant “smart” infrastructures – such as health care, energy, environmental monitoring, or mobility.
Protecting data and services in the cloud is important to governments and organizations across all industries including healthcare, energy utilities, and banking. Thus, the perceived security and dependability risks of cloud computing are limiting its application.
The TClouds project targets cloud computing security and minimization of the widespread concerns about the security of personal data by putting its focus on privacy protection in cross-border infrastructures and on ensuring resilience against failures and attacks.
Trustworthy Clouds (TClouds) aims to build prototype Internet-scale ICT infrastructure which allows virtualized computing, network, and storage resources over the Internet to provide scalability and cost-efficiency. The following objectives contribute to the overall goal:
- Identifying and addressing the legal and business implications and opportunities of widespread use of infrastructure clouds, contributing to building a regulatory framework for enabling resilient and privacy-enhanced cross-border infrastructure clouds.
- Defining an architecture and prototype for securing infrastructure clouds by providing security enhancements that can be deployed on top of commodity infrastructure clouds (as a cloud-of-clouds) and assessing the resilience and privacy benefits of security extensions of existing clouds.
- Providing resilient middleware for adaptive security on the cloud-of-clouds. The TClouds platform will provide tolerance and adaptability to mitigate security incidents and unstable operating conditions for a range of applications running on such clouds-of-clouds.
- Evaluating and assessing the feasibility and impact of the TClouds results, by using them as a foundation of Smart Power Grids and Home Healthcare solutions. The feedback of those scenarios will be used to improve the results.
To demonstrate TClouds, scientists will prototype two scenarios involving critical IT-systems including:
- A smart energy grid with Portugal’s leading energy and solution providers Energias de Portugal and EFACEC: A combination of smart metering and a Web-based real-time status and energy consumption control system enables public utility providers to monitor and efficiently control a public lighting network. TClouds will show how such energy-preserving systems can be migrated to a cloud infrastructure while increasing their resilience, privacy protection and tolerance, from both hackers and hardware failures.
- A patient-centric home healthcare service with San Raffaele Hospital in Milano, Italy, will remotely monitor, diagnose and assist patients outside of a hospital setting. TClouds will demonstrate how the quality of in-home healthcare can be improved cost-efficiently without reducing privacy.