Blueprinting Approach in Support of Cloud Computing

Current cloud service offerings, i.e., Software-as-a-service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings are often provided as monolithic, one-size-fits-all solutions and give little or no room for customization. This limits the ability of Service-based Application (SBA) developers to configure and syndicate offerings from multiple SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS providers to address their application requirements. Furthermore, combining different independent cloud services necessitates a uniform description format that facilitates the design, customization, and composition. Cloud Blueprinting is a novel approach that allows SBA developers to easily design, configure and deploy virtual SBA payloads on virtual machines and resource pools on the cloud. We propose the Blueprint concept as a uniform abstract description for cloud service offerings that may cross different cloud computing layers, i.e., SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. To support developers with the SBA design and development in the cloud, this paper introduces a formal Blueprint Template for unambiguously describing a blueprint, as well as a Blueprint Lifecycle that guides developers through the manipulation, composition and deployment of different blueprints for an SBA. Finally, the empirical evaluation of the blueprinting approach within an EC’s FP7 project is reported and an associated blueprint prototype implementation is presented.

Key words: Cloud Computing, Service-based Application (SBA), Service-oriented Architecture (SOA), Cloud Development Methodology

Cloud blueprinting is a novel approach for engineering Service-based Applications (SBAs). Following this approach, developers can create sophisticated SBAs from applications, platforms and infrastructures offered by different providers in the cloud to achieve end-to-end business requirements. This paper has proposed the Blueprintconcept as a uniform, abstract description of cross-layer cloud service offerings, a Blueprint Template for describing the blueprints, and a Blueprint Lifecycle that explains how blueprints are used during all the engineering phases of an SBA.Blueprint has been adopted as one of the main innovative concepts within the EC’s 4caaSt FP7 project. An industry cloud computing case study has been jointly defined by the 4caaSt community and has been used as a running example in this paper to demonstrate our blueprinting approach. The current blueprint XSD template and web-based blueprint prototype is integrated in a joint 4caaSt demonstration. In the future, our vision is to continuously improve the structure of our blueprint template to capture new requirements of SBA development in the cloud. In particular, we will look at other cross-cutting concerns in cloud computing such as security, reliability, pricing, licensing, etc., thanks to the extensible design of the blueprint template that allows adding more blueprint properties. More functionality will also be developed for our blueprint prototype towards a comprehensive blueprint tool that supports the entire SBA development lifecycle and targets the effect of changes in the blueprints and their composition.

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Blueprinting Approach in Support of Cloud Computing

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Cite this paper as:

Nguyen, D.K.; Lelli, F.; Papazoglou, M.P.; Van den Heuvel, W.-J. Blueprinting Approach in Support of Cloud Computing. Future Internet 20124, 322-346.