Cloud computing is a concept that covers three distinct categories of Internet-based computing service delivery : Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
Now that users and customers are increasingly accessing Web-based on-demand IT resources, significant variation is developing in the way the underlying infrastructure is used. The IaaS paradigm enables the flexibility necessary to accommodate this variation. By taking advantage of virtualisation, the computing infrastructure is now becoming part of the IT network. As new technologies and IaaS providers appear in the marketplace, CETIC keeps track of their technical capabilities and the associated emerging standards. CETIC has mastered OpenNebula, the open source infrastructure stack toolkit for cloud computing, and the related open standards, like the open virtualisation format (OVF) and the open cloud computing interface (OCCI), as well as de facto standards, such as Amazon Machine Image (AMI).
The PaaS is a way to provide custom applications via the Internet, making it possible for users to avoid much of the burden of owning, running and developing their own internal IT infrastructure. However, building the architecture of the application and selecting a PaaS provider are very sensitive tasks, and CETIC can provide valuable advice on performing them. CETIC can build proofs-of-concept, using a representative PaaS framework, such as the Hadoop or NoSQL database.
Because of intrinsic advantages and market trends, many software vendors are planning to adopt the SaaS business model. In doing so, they will need to make significant changes, and it will be especially challenging for them to manage the transition from a traditional software vendor approach. CETIC can help with the porting of applications, changing their underlying architecture to support scalability, flexibility and resiliency, by using SOA, PaaS or IaaS technologies.
All the technologies mentioned above are evolving rapidly, and CETIC tracks them continuously through numerous research projects in which its expertise is recognised.