Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by the extremely widespread use of electronic devices and telecommunications services in the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) industry is emerging in Canada and throughout the world. Cloud computing, based on virtualization, has been envisioned as a promising approach to reshaping future generations of networks by enabling several tenants to efficiently share the same physical infrastructure, thus increasing energy efficiency. Bringing cloud computing from the Internet domain to Next Generation Networks (NGN) in order to provide Telco cloud services will leverage the use of NGN, reduce costs and create many value-added services. It is therefore becoming critical for world-class carriers, like Bell and Telus, to adopt a cloud-based communications model.
However, unlike public Internet clouds, a Telco cloud has specific requirements, such as performance, scalability, security and isolation. The CANARIE GreenStar Network (GSN), led by the principal investigator, recently became the first network in the world to be powered entirely by renewable energy. Although it is still at the research and educational prototype stage, with nodes and generated power developed on a very small scale, several Canadian and international green nodes have been federated and efficiently managed by the GSN platform.
The proposed project will evolve the GSN platform and will address challenges in building interoperable elastic cloud services that are green and sustainable, by designing open and scalable clouds with environmental control features that optimize workload, energy consumption and GHG emissions, and by investigating the cloud's life-cycle and its environmental impacts. Unlike most of the server-centric public Internet cloud solutions, the proposed model will be network-centric and target the telecommunications industry.
The partnership with Ericsson and Inocybe Technologies will help to systematically investigate the Telco cloud architecture, with a view to developing optimal and reliable designs for next generation green and sustainable clouds. This will leverage Canada's expertise as a leader in green ICT technologies, Future Internet, and the green economy.
This project is funded by NSERC-CRD, Ericsson, Inocybe Technologies and MITACS for a period of 3 years starting in 2012.
Ericsson, Inocybe Technologies, NSERC-CRD, MITACS, University of Toronto, CIRAIG (ÉcolePolytechnique de Montréal).