Journal article Open Access

Building a Blockchain-based Decentralized Ecosystem for Cloud and Edge Computing: an ALLSTAR approach and empirical study

Zhou, Huan; Shi, Zeshun; Ouyang, Xue; Zhao, Zhiming

Cloud computing has been one of the disruptive technologies to change the traditional application operation for the last

decades. The success of Cloud boosts ever more newly-built data centers. Although these data centers are distributed all

around the world, the computing resources are managed in a relatively centralized manner within one big data center. For

a specific small area, the centralized Cloud lacks the dispersion to satisfy the requirements of collaborative applications,

e.g., the nearest data center might still be too far to satisfy the network latency. Through spreading the computing resources

at the edge of the network, the emerging Edge computing can complete the data processing before uploading to Cloud.

However, Edge computing still stays at the conceptual and experimental stage. Trust and incentive model are missing

to motivate the Edge node and micro Cloud owners to share the computing infrastructure resources for building a more

generalized and decentralized ecosystem. Traditional method of building trust through authority is not applicable in current

edge environment, which is more like peer-to-peer relationship between the customer and provider. To tackle this issue,

ALLSTAR is proposed, which is a blockchain-based approach to enhance the trust for equally combining all the Cloud

and Edge resources to be seamlessly leveraged by the application. The ALLSTAR approach is a systematic solution to

realize decentralized resource management, including Cloud and Edge resource sharing and trading, and target at building

the trustworthy ALLSTAR ecosystem. In this paper, we first analyze the challenges of utilizing distributed Cloud and Edge

resources, and describe the overall architecture of ALLSTAR, including the related key techniques, detailed application

development and operations processes as well as the new business model. Moreover, an empirical study on the permissioned

blockchain evaluation is conducted. The study not only demonstrates the ALLSTAR approach is feasible but also provides

insights of which blockchain to choose when constructing such an ecosystem.

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