Recent trends in cloud computing go towards the development of new paradigms (heterogeneous, federated, distributed clouds) as opposed to the current centralised model, with tight interactions between the computing and networking infrastructures. The challenge is to address, from the research and experimentation perspectives, the necessary evolution in cloud architectures, cloud networking, deployment practices and run-time management as well as the associated security and privacy needs. The ambition is to increase the uptake of cloud technology by providing the robustness, trustworthiness, and performance required for applications currently considered too critical to be deployed on existing clouds. From the innovation side, the challenge is in fostering the provision and adoption of competitive, innovative, secure and reliable cloud computing services by SMEs and public sector organisations across Europe. Mastering these trends in cloud computing will contribute towards a connected Digital Single Market[[http://ec.europa.eu/priorities/digital-single-market/docs/dsm-communication_en.pdf]].
a. Research and Innovation Actions
New paradigms: proposals may cover one or more of the themes identified below, but not necessarily all of them.
- Deployment and management of densely interconnected and decentralised cloud infrastructures, including the extension of the fog computing paradigm to the extreme edge of the network;
- Cloud networking in the context of software-defined data centres as well as re-allocation of resources and services (independently of their location) across distributed computing and geographically separated data storage infrastructures;
- Techniques to deal with trust, security and privacy in decentralised cloud infrastructures and across multiple cloud providers, including aspects of data integrity, data localisation and data confidentiality;
- Evolution of cloud architectures to improve the management of physical resources and the efficiency of cloud systems, including the concomitant evolution of databases and cloud computing architectures, to address new challenges on scale, resilience and security posed by data-intensive applications deployed over highly distributed and federated environments.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 and 5 million would allow these areas to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
b. Innovation Actions
Proposals should cover one of the themes identified below:
- Experimentation of cloud-based services and their deployment configurations in large-scale decentralised and federated environments, in particular exploring and contributing towards interoperability and standardisation. Experiments are intended to support the automated deployment of complex applications across multiple clouds and data centres, to investigate the performance of cloud infrastructures and to characterise Quality of Service and Quality of Experience under a wide range of load and fault conditions. The approach should explore aspects of interoperability, scalability, performance, robustness, security and efficiency of the mechanisms, like those put forward by FIRE[[FIRE means Future Internet Research & Experimentation (http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ict/fire/)]].
- Cloud Computing for SMEs and Public Sector Innovation: the focus is on fostering innovation through an increased provision and adoption of cloud computing services by two strategic target communities: SMEs and public sector organisations. The focus is on piloting and demonstration in near-operational settings that could lead to the introduction and uptake of new, flexible and resource-effective cloud solutions for SMEs and/or the public sector. The proposed work is intended to leverage these innovative solutions to overcome current challenges such as data portability and interoperability, data protection and access control, standardisation, etc.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 4 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Increase Europe's technological capacity and competitiveness through the development of advanced cloud solutions. Proposals should provide appropriate metrics for the claimed impacts.
- Increased and predictable performance of cloud offerings, facilitating deployment of critical applications and services.
- Increased trust in clouds through stronger security and data protection practices, including open and auditable solutions for data security. Increased control by users of their data and trust relations.
- Experimentation across a variety of settings that enhance Quality of Experience and contribute to standardisation and interoperability. Integration with other international initiatives for large-scale global experimentation.
- Increased readiness for adoption of trustworthy cloud-based solutions for SMEs and public sector organisations, spanning from generic enabling services to specific applications.
- Demonstration, through appropriate use cases, of the potential to improve the competitive position of the European cloud sector and to facilitate the emergence of innovative business.
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