Presentation Open Access
Critical time constraints in applications, such as network latency and jitter in live event broadcasting or processing delay for real-time sensor data in disaster early warning systems, require high performance supporting infrastructure, along with sophisticated optimization mechanisms for developing and integrating system components. Cloud environments provide virtualized, elastic, and controllable on-demand services for supporting complex application systems. The lack of software development tools and in particular cloud-oriented programming and control models make the development and operation of time critical cloud applications difficult and costly. A software workbench, which can couple the development, deployment and operation phases of time critical applications in cloud environments, will reduce the development complexity of building such applications and improve the efficiency of runtime application control.
The workbench has to provide not only a user-friendly graphical interface, and an advanced programming and control model for time critical cloud applications, but also automated provisioning and adaptation mechanisms that can be applied on heterogeneous cloud infrastructures. The workbench needs to fully explore the programmability and elasticity provided by cloud environments, and to provide an intuitive platform for allowing application developers, quality of service (QoS) engineers and application users to work cooperatively during the lifecycle of application development and deployment. In recent years, many cloud development tools and workbenches have been prototyped, e.g. for infrastructure customization and provisioning, for QoS-oriented cloud resource selection for cloud infrastructure provisioning, and for monitoring and runtime control These existing workbenches only focus however on part of the development phase or specification of applications; none of them are designed to meet the exact requirements for time critical applications specifically, especially not with support for programmable infrastructures.
In the EU H2020 project SWITCH (the Software Workbench for Interactive, Time Critical and Highly self-adaptive cloud applications), three highly customizable components are proposed for the application development, virtual infrastructure customization and provisioning, and runtime adaptability respectively. In this talk, we first discuss the key technical challenges in developing the workbench based on requirements analysis and technical review, and then present the current achievements in the development of the three subsystems.