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Cloud computing offers the potential to dramatically reduce the cost of software services through the commoditisation of information technology assets and on-demand usage patterns. However, the complexity of determining resource provision policies for applications in such complex environments introduces significant inefficiencies and has driven the emergence of a new class of infrastructure called Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).

The main objective of the IRMOS project was to enable real-time interaction and collaboration, using distributed multimedia applications running on top of a Cloud infrastructure, where processing, storage and networking are delivered with guaranteed levels of service.

The IRMOS approach and technical solutions constitute a new generation of Service Oriented Cloud Computing environment. IRMOS addressed the following cloud service models:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): provided by the IRMOS Intelligent Service Oriented Network Infrastructure (ISONI), including processing, storage and networking resources virtualisation.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): provided by the IRMOS Service Engineering and Service Management tools. The services cover application analysis, resource estimation and SLA management.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): provided by a set of tools and a specific methodology for the creation and adaptation of applications for virtualized real-time service infrastructures.

Determining resource provisioning policies for applications deployed within the Cloud is a significant challenge. The novel IRMOS PaaS solution allows application providers to deploy online interactive multimedia applications with real-time Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees. This is achieved by providing a Platform for Service Engineering and Service Management supporting activities throughout the full service lifecycle.

The IRMOS solution was validated in the context of three scenarios requiring high level of interaction and quality of service guarantees: Interactive Real-time eLearning, Digital Film Postproduction and Virtual and Augmented Reality.

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IT Innovation's Role

IT Innovation researched and developed PaaS management models, tools and services that allow application services providers to match Cloud resourcing policies to application workloads defined in machine readable SLAs, considering real-time QoS requirements.

The Service Engineering tools support two important features:

  • Real-time specification to describe the QoS requirements and desirable behaviours of applications
  • Application performance models to understand and predict how applications will behave under different workloads and infrastructure resourcing configurations.

Our approach assumes uncertainty in provisioning decisions and manages this uncertainty through the use of stochastic system models within runtime QoS management processes. The generic applicability of our tools and services has been verified and validated through scenarios from important application sectors including film post-production, virtual augmented reality for engineering design and collaborative e-Learning in virtual worlds.

Interested readers may find a paper on the platform, focusing on the e-Learning use case, which received a best paper award:

Virtualised e-Learning with Real-Time Guarantees on the IRMOS Platform
— T Cucinotta, F Checconi, G Kousiouris, D Kyriazis, T Varvarigou, A Mazzetti, Zlatko Zlatev, Juri Papay, Mike Boniface, S Berger, D Lamp, T Voith and M Stein

Project Fact Sheet

The IRMOS project was a 36 month project funded by the EC FP7 framework programme.

Coordinator: Xyratex, UK
More information:

European emblem IRMOS has received EC research funding.

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