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FIWARE.ArchitectureDescription.Cloud.CloudEdge R3 - FIWARE Forge Wiki

FIWARE.ArchitectureDescription.Cloud.CloudEdge R3

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FIWARE WIKI editorial remark:
This page corresponds to Release 3 of FIWARE. The latest version associated to the latest Release is linked from FIWARE Architecture


Copyright © 2012 by Technicolor. All Rights Reserved.

Legal Notice

Please check the following Legal Notice to understand the rights to use these specifications.


This specification describes the Cloud Edge GE, which is located beside the cloud, acting as the cloud agent in the end consumer’s private network.

The Cloud Edge consists of equipment called "Cloud Proxy". Its main function is to offer local Services hosting capabilities as a complement of the standard Service hosting capabilities provided by traditional Cloud infrastructure.

Services hosted in such Cloud Proxy can benefit of this privileged position inside the private network area of a consumer to provide new enhanced Services. It can leverage on the proximity between the consumer and the Service itself to offer Services that require strong connectivity. It can also offer access to private capabilities that are hosted or accessible via the cloud proxy (for example sensors or private home network storage).

The following diagram shows the main components of the Cloud Proxy and the interactions with the different potential actors.


The Cloud Proxy offers a single public interface to manage the local service hosting capabilities: the Service Platform Management Interface (SPMI).

Main Concepts

Basic Concepts

To use the Service Platform Management interface, you should understand the following concept:

  • Virtual Appliance: this entity represents the kind of Service that the cloud proxy is able to host: it is an operating system and application package together that can to run on top of the virtualized system supported by the Cloud Proxy.
  • Image: this corresponds to a set of files that compose a virtual appliance and the associate metadata that describe requirement and configuration needed for installing this virtual Appliance
  • Instance: in our context, it represents the virtual machine that runs the Service. It is an instantiation of a Virtual Appliance.

Actors and Roles

We consider four different types of actors that can interact directly or indirectly with the Cloud Proxy.

  • Application Provider (AP): entity that creates applications for any users and deploys them on the Cloud.
  • Service Aggregator (SA): entity that is in charge to manage a catalogue of applications that are compatible with a set of cloud proxies. Its role is to make sure that the proposed applications are sufficiently safe and secure to be deployed in any private consumer environment. If it gets all the required agreements and authorizations, it can deploy specific applications on a set of Cloud Proxies.
  • Device Administrator (DA): root administrator of the Cloud Proxy Device. The DA has complete control over the cloud proxy, this includes:
    • The management of the administration rights of all the other users that can connect to the Cloud Proxy Service Platform Management system
    • The full control of any virtual appliances hosted on the cloud proxy
  • End-User (EU): any user (person) that subscribes and consumes a service that runs on the Cloud Proxy. Register EUs have the ability to selects those applications that need to be installed and executed on their local Cloud Proxy.

Platform Components

The Cloud Proxy GE is composed of four main components: the Service Platform Manager, the Virtual Environment System, the Resource Monitoring and the Resource Controller.

The Service Platform Manager Interface is the REST interface that supports all features offer by the Cloud Proxy. It is the single point of connection for any client (DA, SA or EU) that needs to control and manage any Virtual Appliances. This module is also in charge of managing the users that are allowed to connect and manage the set of images available on the platform.

The Virtual Environment System is the module in charge of running the system-level virtualized commands. In our case, we select LXC (Linux Container) as this virtualization system. This choice is govern by the fact that the cloud proxy is targeted to run in any hardware environment, from PCs to small embedded systems (ex broadband access Gateway). Compared to other virtualization framework (ex KVM, XEN, VMWARE) LXC fits perfectly this requirement because it is light (very low overhead in term of memory and CPU), fast (ability to start or stop any Virtual Appliance in very few seconds), and not require any specific hardware (i.e. no specific processor instructions).

Examples of deployment scenarios

The service hosting capabilities are managed either directly by the end user consumer or by a third party that can deploy a catalogue of application on set of cloud proxies.

Individual on-demand deployment scenario

Summary: While browsing from his laptop at home, an end-user decides to install an application on his local Cloud Proxy. In this example, the installed application is a small web portal accessible from the home network.

  1. A user connect to a web Application and the application propose to install an application into its private cloud proxy
  2. The user accepts and provides to the Web App the description of the Cloud proxy environment. In response to that information, the Web application provides the URL of the compatible virtual appliance that could run on the consumer’s cloud proxy
  3. The user registers this virtual appliance into the cloud proxy. The virtual appliance is downloaded on the system. If this virtual appliance is certified by a third party, the Cloud Proxy checks the validity of the certificate.
  4. After reviewing the specific usage’s condition of this application, the user creates a virtual machine based on this virtual appliance and starts it.
  5. As soon as the local Service is started on the cloud proxy, the web browser redirects the user to the local web provided by the new running application.

Large scale deployment scenario

Summary: a service aggregator deploys a catalogue of virtual appliances on a set of cloud proxies.

Prior to any transactions, the DA and the SA needs to find a formal authorisation that allows the Service Manager to use the Cloud Proxy owned by the DA.

  1. An AP requests from the SA to deploy a specific service on a set of Cloud Proxies.
  2. The SA checks in its database what are the Cloud Proxies currently available, and among them, select only the ones that can support the application of the AP.
  3. As soon as the set of compatible Cloud Proxies is selected, the SA can start to deploy this application on those cloud proxies.
  4. Then, each end-user can browse the catalogue of its own cloud proxy and decide to install it or not.
  5. Once an instance of Virtual Appliance is created, any authorized user can start, stop or remove the created Service.

Main Interactions

In this section, the SPMI operations are described. These operations are classified in the following area:

  • Platform features operation: these operations are used to provide generic information about the platform itself and the resources that can be shared or offered to virtual applications.
  • Images Features operation: These operations are related to the management of images that are available on the cloud proxy.
  • Instances Features operation: These operations are used to manage Instances that runs on cloud proxy.
  • Users Features operation: These operation are used to manage the user’s authentication and authorisation.
  • Monitoring Feature operation: These operations are used to provide information about the state and the behaviour of any Instance.

Platform Features

  • Platform version: Provide the current version of the SPM.
  • Platform Description: Provide the general information that describes the platform in term of product, hardware and firmware. Used for by any client that needs to provide the right image for a specified Cloud Proxy.

User Features

  • User Create: Create an account for a user. Any user that wants to interact directly with the Services Hosting Platform (install, uninstall a Virtual Appliance) need to be registered. This is performed by the DA, or any local administrator.
  • User Attributes Update: Allow the authorized client to change attributes of a user account.
  • User Delete: Delete a user account.

Images Features

  • Image Register: Registrar a particular Image into the system so that it is available into the local application’s catalogue.
  • Image Detail: Provide detailed description of an image and resources it needs to run on the system.
  • Image List: Provide the list of all the available images for a given user.
  • Image Delete: Delete all the files related to an image and remove the application from the local catalogue.

Instances Features

  • Instance Install: create a Virtual Appliance using a registered image
  • Instance Detail: provide detailed description of a specified Virtual Appliance
  • Instance Uninstall: delete a Virtual Appliance and free all the resources used by this instance.
  • Instance List: Provide all available Virtual Appliances created on the Cloud Proxy.
  • Instance Action: Perform a set of actions (start, stop, freeze, unfreeze, reboot) on Virtual Appliances.

Monitoring Features

  • List metrics: List all the metrics and the associated type of statistics that are available on the platform.
  • Get metrics statistics: Provide the collected measured values of a set of metrics for a specified instance.
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