1 IaaS Cloud Architectures: Virtualized Data Centers to Federated Cloud Infrastructures Dr. Sanjay P. Ahuja, Ph.D FIS Distinguished Professor of Computer Science School of Computing, UNF
2 Introduction Virtualization plays an important role as an enabling technology for datacenter implementation by abstracting compute, network, and storage service platforms from the underlying physical hardware. Because secure, efficient, and scalable management of these virtualized infrastructures is essential to guarantee optimal datacenter operation, the virtual infrastructure manager is a key component of the datacenter architecture. The virtual infrastructure manager, also called the cloud operating system (cloud OS), orchestrates the deployment of virtual resources and manages the physical and virtual infrastructures. Management of the datacenter as a cloud makes it possible to complement the local infrastructure with remote resources from other federated datacenters or commercial clouds.
3 Introduction (contd.) This cloud vision of the datacenter provides several advantages including server consolidation to reduce hardware and power requirements, on-the-fly resizing of the physical infrastructure, service workload balance among physical resources to improve efficiency and utilization, server replication to support fault tolerance and high availability capabilities, and dynamic partitioning of physical infrastructure to execute and isolate different services and workloads. Turning this vision into reality requires developing an open and flexible cloud architecture reference model that addresses the requirements of business use cases from IT companies. The model must provide interoperability and portability to prevent vendor lockin, scalability, and standardization.
4 Challenge in Cloud Computing An open challenge in cloud computing is cloud federation, which involves different architectures and levels of coupling among federated cloud instances. The cloud architecture reference model must include support for the deployment of different federation scenarios so that cloud providers and IT companies can use external resources as well as share their internal resources.
5 Cloud Infrastructure Anatomy The key component of an IaaS cloud architecture is the cloud OS (see figure in next slide), which manages the physical and virtual infrastructures and controls the provisioning of virtual resources according to the needs of the user services. A cloud OS s role is to efficiently manage datacenter resources to deliver a flexible, secure, and isolated multitenant execution environment for user services that abstracts the underlying physical infrastructure and offers different interfaces and APIs for interacting with the cloud. While local users and administrators can interact with the cloud using local interfaces and administrative tools that offer rich functionality for managing, controlling, and monitoring the virtual and physical infrastructure, remote cloud users employ public cloud interfaces that usually provide more limited functionality.
6 The Cloud OS
7 The Cloud OS As a key component in a modern datacenter, the cloud operating system is responsible for: 1. managing the physical and virtual infrastructure, 2. orchestrating and commanding service provisioning and deployment, 3. providing federation capabilities for accessing and deploying virtual resources in remote cloud infrastructures
8 Infrastructure and Cloud Drivers To provide an abstraction of the underlying infrastructure, technology, the cloud OS can use adapters or drivers to interact with a variety of virtualization technologies. These include hypervisor, network, storage, and information drivers. The core cloud OS components, including the virtual machine (VM) manager, network manager, storage manager, and information manager, rely on these infrastructure drivers to deploy, manage, and monitor the virtualized infrastructures. In addition to the infrastructure drivers, the cloud OS can include different cloud drivers to enable access to remote providers. OpenNebula ( is an example of an open cloud OS platform focused on datacenter virtualization that fits with the architecture proposed in Figure 1. Other open cloud managers, such as OpenStack ( and Eucalyptus ( primarily focus on public cloud features.
9 Virtual Machine Manager A cloud OS defines the VM as the basic execution unit and the virtualized services (group of VMs for executing a multitier service) as the basic management entity. This concept helps create scalable applications because the user can either add VMs as needed (horizontal scaling) or resize a VM (if supported by the underlying hypervisor technology) to satisfy a VM workload increase (vertical scaling). Individual multitier applications are isolated from each other, but individual VMs in the same applications are not, as they all can share a communication network and services when needed. A VM consists of a set of parameters and attributes, including the OS kernel, VM image, memory and CPU capacity, network interfaces etc.
10 Virtual Machine Manager (contd.) The VM manager is responsible for managing a VM s entire life cycle and performing different VM actions deploy, migrate, suspend, resume, shut down according to user commands or scheduling strategies. To perform these actions, the VM manager relies on the hypervisor drivers, which expose the basic functionality of underlying hypervisors such as Xen, KVM, and VMware to avoid limiting the cloud OS to a specific virtualization technology. The VM manager is also responsible for preserving the service-level agreements contracted with the users, which are usually expressed in terms of VM availability in infrastructure clouds. To guarantee this availability, the VM manager should include different mechanisms for detecting VM crashes and automatically restarting the VM in case of failure.
11 Network Manager The deployment of services in a cloud involves not only the provision of VMs but also the instantiation of communication networks to interconnect the different service components and to make the service reachable for external users, if needed. The network manager should be able to manage private networks to interconnect both the service s internal components and public IP address pools and connect the front-end service components to the Internet. The network manager uses the network drivers to provision virtual networks over the physical network infrastructure. It needs to ensure traffic isolation between virtual networks.
12 Storage Manager The storage manager s main function is to provide storage services and final-user virtual storage systems as a commodity. The storage system must be scalable so that it can grow dynamically according to service needs; highly available and reliable, to avoid data access disruption in data access in case of failure; high-performance, to support strong demands of dataintensive workloads; and easy to manage, abstracting users from the underlying physical storage s complexity. To reach these goals, the storage manager relies on the existing storage drivers, which introduce a layer of abstraction between users or services and physical storage and enable the creation of a storage resource pool where storage devices appear as one, allowing data to be moved freely among devices.
13 Image Manager Image managers must handle a huge amount of VM images belonging to different users, with different operating systems and software configurations. Thus, the cloud OS must have the appropriate tools to manage these images efficiently and securely, as well as having additional functionality for administering image repositories. A set of attributes defines the VM image, including the image s name, a description of its contents, the type of image public, private, or shared the image owner, and the image s location within the repository. Basic image functionality should include tools for creating a new image in a repository, deleting an image, cloning an image from an existing one, adding or changing an image attribute, sharing an image with other users, publishing an image for public use, or listing the images available in the repository.
14 Information Manager The information manager is responsible for monitoring and gathering information about the state of VMs, physical servers, and other components of virtual and physical infrastructures such as network devices and storage systems. This monitoring function is essential to ensure that all these components are performing optimally. The information manager uses the information drivers to collect monitoring information from virtual and physical resources. At the physical server level, the administrator can install different specialized tools for monitoring purposes such as Nagios ( and Ganglia ( Monitoring at the VM level relies on the information provided by hypervisors, which can be very limited and might differ from one hypervisor to another.
15 Quota mechanisms can be used to limit the amount of resources CPU, memory, network bandwidth, or disk a specific user can access. Authentication and Authorization Clouds must incorporate mechanisms to authenticate users and administrators and to provide them with access only to authorized resources. User authentication verifies and confirms the identity of users who try to access cloud resources. This function can be implemented using different methods, such as simple password verification mechanisms via LDAP; trusted authentication mechanisms based on public keys, X.509 certificates or Kerberos. Authorization policies control and manage user privileges and permissions to access different cloud resources, such as VMs, networks, or storage systems. Access control can be implemented using role-based mechanisms, where a role defines a group of permissions to perform certain operations over specific cloud resources and users can be assigned particular roles.
16 Accounting and Auditing Accounting s objective is to obtain and record resource usage information of deployed services. This function relies on the information manager to monitor resources and collect usage information from metric measurements. Accounting is essential to implementing the mechanisms that produce billing information. Auditing provides information about activity in cloud resources, indicating who accessed cloud resources, when they gained access, and what operations they performed. This information is useful to improve cloud security and protect it from threats such as unauthorized access, abusive use of resources, and other forms of intrusion.
17 The federation manager s design could differ depending on the supported types of federation for example, cloud aggregation, bursting, or brokering and levels of coupling and interoperability. The cloud OS must implement the federation manager as an internal component to support federation architectures at the infrastructure level. Federation Manager The federation manager enables access to remote cloud infrastructures, which can be either partner infrastructures governed by a similar cloud OS entity or public cloud providers. The federation manager should provide basic mechanisms for deployment, runtime management, and termination of virtual resources in remote clouds; remote resource monitoring; user authentication in remote cloud instances; access control management and remote resource permission; and tools for image building on different clouds with different image formats.
18 Scheduler There are two levels of scheduling within a cloud infrastructure: at the physical host level, managed by the hypervisor scheduler, which is responsible for deciding when VMs can obtain system resources such as physical CPU or memory and which physical CPUs are assigned to each VM; and at the cloud level, managed by the cloud OS scheduler, which is responsible for deciding the particular physical server where each VM is deployed. The cloud OS scheduler s main function is to decide the initial placement of each VM following specific criteria. In a federated environment, the scheduler could decide to deploy the VM in a remote cloud when insufficient resources are available in the local infrastructure.
19 Scheduler (contd.) The scheduler could also provide dynamic optimization capabilities, enabling the dynamic reallocation (migration) of VMs from one physical resource to another to meet specific optimization criteria. The table in the next slide lists different scheduling policies, based on varying optimization criteria, to guide both initial placement and dynamic reallocation actions. The user can also specify the constraints that can restrict scheduler decisions such as, for example, hardware (amount of CPU, memory, and so on), platform (type of hypervisor, OS, and so on), affinity (two or more VMs that need to be deployed in the same physical server or the same physical cluster), location (geographical restrictions), or service-level agreement constraints (guaranteed CPU capacity or high operational reliability).
20 Optimization Criteria for Allocation and Reallocation Policies of the Scheduler
21 Scheduler (contd.) The cloud OS invokes the scheduler every time a new VM is waiting to be deployed as well as periodically to optimize the entire virtual infrastructure, reallocating VMs if necessary to meet the established optimization criteria. The scheduler interacts with the VM manager to deploy or allocate the VM in the selected server or with the federation manager to deploy VMs in remote clouds.
22 Administrative Tools The cloud OS must provide different tools and interfaces (commandline or GUI) for users and administrators to perform various tasks. For privileged administration, the system should include both user administration tools (to create, modify, or delete users and manage user authorization and access control policies) and physical infrastructure management tools (to boot or shut down physical servers, monitor physical infrastructure, and so on). Unprivileged users should also be provided with tools to manage their own infrastructure for example, VM management tools (to deploy, shut down, suspend, restore, or monitor a VM), virtual network management tools (to create or delete virtual networks), virtual storage management tools (to create, delete, or attach a virtual disk), and image management tools (to create, clone, or delete images).
23 Service Manager The cloud OS should be able to manage and support virtualized multitier services. A multitier service can comprise several component/tiers with some intrinsic dependencies among them. These services can be deployed as a group of interconnected VMs in the cloud with specific deployment dependencies and, optionally, some location, affinity, and elasticity requirements. The service manager s admission control function entails deciding whether to accept or reject a service, depending on the service requirements and resource availability in the cloud. Once it accepts a service, the service manager is responsible for managing its life cycle, which can involve several actions, including deploying, suspending, resuming, or canceling the service. To deploy a new service, the service manager interacts with the scheduler to decide the best placement for the various VMs that comprise the service, according to the selected optimization criteria and service constraints.
24 Service Manager (contd.) Another service manager function is the management of service elasticity. The service manager can incorporate different mechanisms for service auto-scaling based on elasticity rules, which trigger the deployment of new instances (horizontal scaling) or by resizing existing instances (vertical scaling) when user-specified service metrics exceed certain thresholds. Independent of the service manager, users are always allowed to employ the interfaces provided by the administrative tools or the cloud interface to deploy, resize, migrate, or shut down their individual VMs.
25 Cloud Interfaces In the current cloud ecosystem, most cloud products and providers offer their own APIs, such as Amazon EC2 or VMware s vcloud. Although some of these APIs are becoming de facto standards, this heterogeneity makes it difficult to achieve interoperability and portability across clouds. Several standards bodies are addressing interoperability and portability issues surrounding cloud infrastructures. Example, OGF OCCI ( OVF (
26 Cloud Federation Cloud federation, which enables cloud providers and IT companies to collaborate and share their resources, is associated with many portability and interoperability issues. Cloud developers and researchers have proposed or implemented numerous federation architectures, including cloud bursting, brokering, aggregation, and multitier. These architectures can be classified according to the level of coupling or interoperation among the cloud instances involved, ranging from loosely coupled (with no or little interoperability among cloud instances) to tightly coupled (with full interoperability among cloud instances).
27 Loosely Coupled Federation This scenario is formed by independent cloud instances for example, a private cloud complementing its infrastructure with resources from an external commercial cloud with limited interoperation between them. A cloud instance has little or no control over remote resources (for example, decisions about VM placement are not allowed), monitoring information is limited (for example, only CPU, memory, or disk consumption of each VM is reported), and there is no support for advanced features such as cross-site networks or VM migration.
28 Partially Coupled Federation This scenario typically consists of various partner clouds that establish a contract or framework agreement stating the terms and conditions under which one partner cloud can use resources from another. This contract can enable a certain level of control over remote resources (for example, allowing the definition of affinity rules to force two or more remote VMs to be placed in the same physical cluster); can agree to the interchange of more detailed monitoring information (for example, providing information about the host where the VM is located, energy consumption, and so on); and can enable some advanced networking features among partner clouds (for example, the creation of virtual networks across site boundaries).
29 Tightly Coupled Federation This scenario usually includes clouds belonging to the same organization and is normally governed by the same cloud OS type. In this scenario, a cloud instance can have advanced control over remote resources for example, allowing decisions about the exact placement of a remote VM and can access all the monitoring information available about remote resources. In addition, it can allow other advanced features, including the creation of cross-site networks, cross-site migration of VMs, implementation of high availability techniques among remote cloud instances, and creation of virtual storage systems across site boundaries.
30 Cloud Federation Architectures
31 Bursting (Hybrid) Architecture Cloud bursting or hybrid architecture combines the existing onpremise infrastructure (usually a private cloud) with remote resources from one or more public clouds to provide extra capacity to satisfy peak demand periods. Because the local cloud OS has no advanced control over the virtual resources deployed in external clouds beyond the basic operations the providers allow, this architecture is loosely coupled. Most existing open cloud managers support the hybrid cloud architecture and is used in infrastructures such as StratusLab (
32 Broker Architecture The central component of the broker architecture is a broker that serves various users and has access to several public cloud infrastructures. A simple broker should be able to deploy virtual resources in the cloud as selected by the user. An advanced broker offering service management capabilities could make scheduling decisions based on optimization criteria such as cost, performance, or energy consumption to automatically deploy virtual user service in the most suitable cloud, or it could even distribute the service components across multiple clouds. This architecture is also loosely coupled since public clouds typically do not allow advanced control over the deployed virtual resources. Brokering is the most common federation scenario. Examples include BonFIRE ( Open Cirrus, and
33 Aggregated Architecture Cloud aggregation consists of two or more partner clouds that interoperate to aggregate their resources and provide users with a larger virtual infrastructure. This architecture is usually partially coupled, since partners could be provided with some kind of advanced control over remote resources, depending on the terms and conditions of contracts with other partners. These partner clouds usually have a higher coupling level when they belong to the same corporation than when they are owned by different companies that agree to cooperate and aggregate their resources. The Reservoir federated infrastructure is an example of an aggregated cloud architecture.
34 Multitier Architecture The multitier architecture consists of two or more cloud sites, each running its own cloud OS and usually belonging to the same corporation, that are managed by a third cloud OS instance following a hierarchical arrangement. This upper cloud OS instance has full control over resources in different cloud sites a tightly coupled scenario and it exposes the resources available in the different cloud sites as if they were located in a single cloud. This architecture is beneficial for corporations with geographically distributed cloud infrastructures because it provides uniform access. It is also useful for implementing advanced management features such as high availability, load balancing, and fault tolerance.
35 Reference and Acknowledgement The contribution of the following paper is duly acknowledged for this presentation: Moreno-Vozmediano, R., Montero, R., and Llorente, I., "IaaS Cloud Architecture: From Virtualized Data Centers to Federated Cloud Infrastructures", IEEE Computer Vol. 45 (12), Dec. 2012, pp
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