COLA Project

Cloud Orchestration at the Level of Application

The project COLA is an Innovation Action funded by the European Commission as part of the Horizon2020 Programme. The project was launched in January 2017, lasted 33 months and finished in September 2019. The COLA project aimed to increase the adoption of cloud computing services by SMEs and the public sector as strategic target communities. The main objective of COLA was to provide a reference implementation of a generic and pluggable framework that supports the optimal and secure deployment and run-time orchestration of cloud applications.

The outcome of the COLA project is MiCADO (Microservices-based Cloud Application-level Dynamic Orchestrator) which is a highly customisable multi-cloud orchestration and auto-scaling framework for Docker containers, orchestrated by Kubernetes. MiCADO supports auto-scaling at virtual machine level, dynamic extension or reduction of the built-in Kubernetes cluster, and at Kubernetes level, increasing and decreasing replicas that are tied to specific Kubernetes deployments. MiCADO can accommodate high peak loads while also optimising resource consumption.

CloudBroker was one of the core partners and Work Package leaders in the COLA project. CloudBroker offered the CloudBroker Platform as part of the COLA testbed and coordinated the respective setup and enhancements of the platform for the needs of the project. Together with ScaleTools CloudBroker contributed to the prototyping and testing of the microservices orchestration layer including the definition, design and coordination of the development of necessary enhancements on the cloud interface layer related to the CloudBroker Platform.

Core Components of MiCADO

Enhancements of the CloudBroker Platform and new features that were introduced within the COLA project to accomodate to the project’s needs:

Infrastructure Layer – a tool that allows user to assemble and launch own infrastructures on different clouds with MiCADO support, functionality to control instances independently from jobs, including API and UI.

CloudInit support. Now it is possible to configure an instance using a CloudInit script provided on instance launch from CBP.

Resource Catalogue, that was introduced to simplify the process of resource selection. All cloud resources available through CBP are compiled in joint catalogue now.

Configuration Advisor, a tool that implements an advisory mechanism for a user, where user can specify generic requirements and CBP, suggests number of resource-region-instance type configurations that suits the query best.

Adapters to grant access to the following cloud resources were developed/ updated:

  • SICS cloud (OpenStack)
  • SZTAKI cloud (OpenNebula)
  • UoW cloud (OpenStack)
  • CloudSigma cloud (OpenStack)
  • Amazon cloud
  • Microsoft Azure cloud

Support of new European regions for existing cloud providers was added on the CloudBroker platform: closer distance from clients to resource regions means higher speed of data transferring and optimizes the performance.

GDPR compliance of CloudBroker Platform

Additionally, CloudBroker was a leader of the work package responsible for innovation management and the definition of its way to the market: commercial exploitation, sustainability and business models.