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Communications of the ACM

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Building a Sustainable, Intelligent, and Power-Efficient Cloud


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The CLOUDLIGHTNING logo.

A European Union-funded project seeks to integrate high-performance computing with hardware and servers to build a more efficient, heterogeneous, and user-centric cloud.

Credit: Dublin City University

The European Union-funded CLOUDLIGHTNING project seeks to integrate high-performance computing (HPC) with hardware and servers to construct a more efficient, heterogeneous, and user-centric cloud.  

CLOUDLIGHTNING estimates it can boost cloud computing capacity from 20% to 80%, and make the cloud a viable tool for HPC by overcoming an inability to configure available resources for the novel needs of the technical and scientific community.

A recent CLOUDLIGHTNING report noted a general lack of trust in the cloud by HPC users due to this inflexibility, with particular concerns about data management and a dearth of cloud infrastructure. The project plans to address these and other obstacles by developing a power-efficient infrastructure to streamline access to cloud resources.

CLOUDLIGHTNING's proposal involves creating a heterogeneous cloud system merging HPC power with the energy-efficient use of different types of hardware and servers that can interoperate.

The researchers note CLOUDLIGHTNING entails a unique cloud management and delivery architecture based on the precepts of self-organization and self-management, which shifts deployment and optimization from the consumer to the software stack operating on the cloud infrastructure.

The next phase of the project will be the rollout of a testbed to run the CLOUDLIGHTNING software stack.

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