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CloudBroker Platform Now Usable for Free with Own Cloud Infrastructures


Sept. 27 — CloudBroker GmbH and the SCIentific gateway Based User Support (SCI-BUS) EU FP7 project are happy to announce a new release of the CloudBroker Platform that allows performing scientific calculations on own infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds. Several already available public cloud providers as well as newly implemented private cloud solutions can be utilized. Furthermore, in the current pricing scheme the surcharges for using the public platform are zero if the corresponding resources and associated software are not offered for a fee. CloudBroker and SCI-BUS hope that these new abilities will spark cloud usage in scientific computing in general, and in particular in science gateways.

The CloudBroker Platform is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application store that allows easy offering and using compute-intensive applications on different cloud infrastructures. It is based on a pay-per-use model and can be accessed via a web browser or through REST and Java application programming interfaces (APIs) as well as the command line. The platform also represents one of the base technologies in the SCI-BUS science gateway project, where it provides the connection to public and private cloud infrastructures.

The goal of SCI-BUS is to make it easier to build, operate and use science gateways, that is, web portals for different research communities on top of distributed computing infrastructures (DCIs). For this, generic-purpose technology is provided and gateways for a number of different communities are supported, including systems biology, computational chemistry, astrophysics, heliophysics, seismology, medicine, rendering, electronic document handling, business process optimization, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and software testing.

Within the SCI-BUS project, the following additional features were incorporated into the CloudBroker Platform and are now made available to all platform users:

  • Adapters to OpenStack and Eucalyptus private clouds in addition to the existing Amazon Web Services and IBM SmartCloud Enterprise public cloud adapters.

  • Ability to register and offer own IaaS cloud resources using accounts on any of the above clouds.

  • Deployment of application software on own cloud resources without special checking procedure.

  • Separate treatment of cloud compute and storage resources.

  • Interface to IBM SmartCloud Enterprise object storage based on Nirvanix.

  • Tagging of jobs, for example to differentiate from where a job originates.

Further related features such as an interface to OpenNebula private clouds are currently in preparation. As in the current pricing scheme the surcharges for using the public CloudBroker Platform are calculated percentage-wise, there are no extra platform usage charges if the prices for own resources and software are set to zero.

Dr. Wibke Sudholt, CTO of CloudBroker and work package leader in SCI-BUS, comments: "The new release opens the CloudBroker Platform to users who would like to utilize their own cloud accounts or infrastructures in addition to what CloudBroker provides. Offering these resources and the software deployed on it through the platform then presents a seamless and efficient way towards SaaS services for all corresponding providers."

Prof. Dr. Peter Kacsuk, head of the Laboratory of Parallel and Distributed Systems (LPDS) at the Computer and Automation Research Institute, Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA SZTAKI) and SCI-BUS project coordinator, adds: "With the possibility to use the CloudBroker Platform for free for own cloud infrastructures and to register any software there, users now have the full freedom to deploy and run whatever they need for their scientific workflows in the cloud. Using the CloudBroker interface in our WS-PGRADE / gUSE gateway framework, both public and private clouds are readily available for science gateway providers and users."

The CloudBroker Platform incorporates the described additions from release number 1.1 onwards. Its public installation, where in the current pricing scheme everybody can register free of charge after a user check, is available under https://platform.cloudbroker.com. CloudBroker offers commercial hosted and in-house versions of the platform as well. The new features were also topics during a demo on the SCI-BUS booth and in the Science Gateway session at the EGI Technical Forum in Prague on September 20, 2012.

About CloudBroker GmbH

CloudBroker (http://www.cloudbroker.com) is a spin-off company of the ETH Zurich located in Zurich, Switzerland. It offers scientific and technical applications as a service in the cloud, for usage in fields such as biology, chemistry, health and engineering. Its flagship product, the CloudBroker Platform, provides on-demand web access to application software on top of compute and storage resources in the cloud.

About SCI-BUS

SCI-BUS (http://www.sci-bus.eu) is a European project supported by the FP7 Capacities Programme under contract no. RI-283481. It aims at developing gateway technology and community gateways to provide researchers seamless access to major computing, data and networking infrastructures and services, with focus on scientific workflows. SCI-BUS is a collaboration of 15 consortium members and six subcontractors, supporting a number of different gateways in various disciplines.

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Source: CloudBroker GmbH

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