The CIERA project was a proof of concept for an Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS) community cloud for HEAnet clients. The CIERA project included an Openstack (Red Hat distribution) cloud in a HEAnet datacentre with an Edugain enabled multi-tenant multi-cloud portal which allowed users to provision resources across the HEAnet Openstack community cloud, Microsoft Azure, Google Compute Engine and Amazon AWS as well as providing user and cost management capabilities. The CIERA project provided substantial benefits including gaining valuable experience in IAAS and cloud use-cases, network and storage integration, user role based management and cost management.
The CIERA proof of concept concluded in October 2015 and subsequently it was decided not to proceed with a follow on proposal for an Openstack based Community Cloud Pilot.
POC (Proof of Concept) Details
The HEAnet Cloud Proof of Concept (POC) will provide Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Cloud capabilities for use by HEAnet and its clients during the POC evaluation period. The IaaS platform as illustrated below in figure 1 will provide a Cloud Compute capability i.e. Virtual Machines (VMs) in a variety of sizes and flavours (Linux and Windows Server) and associated storage (including Edustorage as an option) via a web portal as the user Interface (UI) federated with HEAnet’s Edugate service. The main objective is to provide a flexible and reliable IaaS platform to allow self-provisioning of compute and storage resources whereby HEAnet and its clients can test and evaluate the HEAnet cloud and potential usecases for a future cloud service(s). A secondary objective is to evaluate the Multicloud Web Portal and its potential to provide a single portal to manage multiple cloud resources and cost across public clouds (Microsoft, Amazon, Google) and the HEAnet IaaS community cloud.
The HEAnet IaaS Cloud will be available for approximately 9 months at no cost to HEAnet clients with full administrative control by client IT departments. The evaluation period will be used to identify and test relevant usecases and define the potential demand and business case for an IaaS Cloud Compute service.
HEAnet Cloud Capabilities
The following is a summary of the key capabilities of the HEAnet IaaS Cloud Compute platform.
- The Cloud Compute platform provides a Web Portal with an easy to use standardised interface for users across public clouds as well as the HEAnet IaaS cloud and allow them to provision and manage resources. The Web based portal is federated with HEAnet Edugate so users can be logged on using their campus credentials i.e. Single Sign-on capability.
- Role Based Access Control (RBAC) of user privileges under the control of the HEAnet Client IT department e.g. administration, read only, hard and soft quotas to control resource usage and cost.
- Ability to create and manage cloud resources (with client accounts) in HEAnet Cloud, MS Azure, Amazon AWS, and Google Compute public clouds including applying cost and usage quotas to users.
Virtual Machines (VMs)
- Capacity for approximately 250 VMs available in different sizes based on CPU, Ram and Storage.
- Choice of VM flavours (Centos, Ubuntu, Red Hat, Debian, Windows Server 2012) as well as the option for clients to have an own private library of images.
- Ability to provide internet connectivity to VMs.
- Ability to provide connectivity to existing campus networks at layer 2 (requires additional HEAnet and campus network configuration) effectively creating a Virtual Private Cloud subject to agreement with each HEAnet client. This allows VMs to be part of the campus network i.e. same IP subnet and also part of the normal campus IT management and control e.g. firewalls.
- The HEAnet Cloud provides standard amounts of Ephemeral (non persistent), Object and Block Storage based on the VM sizes and which can be supplemented by the HEAnet Edustorage service (additional cost).