We are spreading the word: an easier cloud computer software is possible!
Unicorn consortium is holding its plenary meeting in Athens on 8th and 9th November 2018, and its hosted by Ubitech. Apart from the usual talks such as the status of the project and the status of current deliverables, partners will also participate in interesting workshops such as the Workshop on communication roadmap which will be organised by European DIGITAL SME Alliance and FORTH.
Additionally, the consortium partners will kick-off its further standardisation activities with the launch of the CEN Workshop Agreement on the Analytics Insights and Scaling Policies for Microservices. The activity is led by UNICORN partner DIN.
Lastly, the final preparations of the Idea Innovation contest will take place, and the responsible partners (UCY, UBITECH, CINCUBATOR, DIGITAL SME) will be setting up the technical infrastructure for the contest, planning the communication activities, etc.
In the course of the last years, due to the increasing complexity of IT networking, a variety of processes have changed. For example, a few years ago, software and hardware were increasingly being acquired and used for stand-alone operation, while more and more companies are currently sourcing their resources via the cloud services market. This increases the flexibility and cost efficiency of the use of information and communication technology. By relieving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through the use of cloud services, it will be easier for them to focus on the core business, which could increase the competitiveness of SMEs. But not only companies rely on it. Private users as well as authorities use cloud-based IT services. Standardization in terms of quality improvement and assurance could play a significant role, especially in such forward-looking topics.
The international standardization committee ISO / IEC JTC 1 / SC 38 "Cloud Computing and Distributed Platforms" performs the corresponding standardization work. Recognizing the potential of this new technology paradigm, consumers of IT technologies and services are demanding standards to assist in their transition to Cloud Computing. The work of SC 38 covers the different aspects of standardization in the areas of Cloud Computing and Distributed Platforms including:
• Foundational concepts and technologies,
• Operational issues, and
• Interactions among Cloud Computing systems and with other distributed systems
Since holding its first meeting in May 2010, SC 38 has developed a variety of important Cloud computing standards. Two of these are for instance the foundational standards ISO/IEC 17788:2014 (Ed. 1) “Information technology -- Cloud computing -- Overview and vocabulary” and ISO/IEC 17789:2014 (Ed. 1) “Information technology -- Cloud computing -- Reference architecture”. Foundational standards that deal with vocabulary and reference architecture are essential for developing standards that go further considering the specific technology. For instance the ISO/IEC 19941 specifies cloud computing interoperability and portability types, the relationship and interactions between these two cross-cutting aspects of cloud computing and common terminology and concepts used to discuss interoperability and portability, particularly relating to cloud services. Furthermore, the ISO/IEC 19086 series deals with the standardization of Service level agreements (SLAs).
These kinds of standards help cloud providers in their daily routine, since cloud providers have to guarantee that their cloud service is in accordance with data protection. By introducing the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018, this matter became especially for European countries more relevant than ever. Certain cloud customers may only rely on the offer of cloud providers, who can demonstrate that compliance with data protection is guaranteed. International Standards reflect the state of the art and therefore are reviewed every five years. During the review, it is decided whether the standard should be confirmed for another five years, revised or withdrawn. Due to this, International Standards are always up to date. Since standards reflect the state of the art, using Cloud Computing standards can increase the quality and trustworthiness of cloud providers. Having Cloud Computing standards is therefore beneficial both for the cloud providers and cloud customers. Since introducing the GDPR this year and the significant Cloud Computing standards being ISO/IEC standards, the thought of CEN/CENELEC starting to develop European Standards (EN) in the field of Cloud Computing could be debated. While International Standards have the higher priority in comparison to European Standards, it could be worth a thought, whether European Cloud Computing standards are needful at this time, since the EU GDPR has been introduced this year. It is probably not unthinkable that there could be talks between ISO and CEN/CENELEC regarding this matter in the future.
The article was written by Samarkhel-Khan Yahya from DIN
You can download the article here
Unicorn was present at the 5th Network and Information Security (NIS’18) on Network and information security in Heraklion Crete. The event was jointly organised by the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) and the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH). The event was focused on the main challenges of Information Security.
Unicorn was present with our consortium member FORTH and presented our solutions and actions,
You can find more information about event here
Unicorn was out yet for another adventure, as we participated in the 21st International Symposium on Research in Attacks, Intrusions, and Defences (RAID 2018) that was held in Heraklion Crete on 10-12 September.
Its aim is to gather researchers and practitioners from academia government, and industry from all over Europe with the goal to discuss research contributions related to computer and information security.
Our consortium partner FORTH participated in the event and presented UNICORN and its actions.
Find more information about the event here
On the 7th and 8th of June UNICORN held its plenary and technical meeting, hosted by Maggioli, in Rimini.
Besides ‘business as usual’ (such as discussions on the progress and results in different WPs, planning of the next months, etc.), project partners had some efficient workshops! Technical partners were working in the Integration session lead by UBITECH, while DIN kept the rest busy, developing the Project Plan for the CEN Workshop Agreement (see more about UNICORN’s standardisation activities here).
In addition, the project partners contributed to the Market Analysis, Business Plan and Innovation Management by developing their UNICORN Customer Empathy Maps in a workshop organised by Steinbeis.
Unicorn is a novel framework that helps SMEs and START-UPS to adopt cloud computing for the deployment of services. Developers can focus on developing their services using the suggested development paradigm and let Unicorn Orchestrator handle elasticity, security, resilience and performance across heterogeneous clouds, such as public or private enterprise clouds, or even hybrid clouds.
The UNICORN project consortium has made a decision to develop and produce a CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA) and thereof contribute to the European standardization environment. Although the CWA is not formally a European Standard, and involves no obligation at national level, it is considered as an important step towards the development of the European standard. In addition, the production process of the CWA is much faster and more flexible, thus it is more suitable for the project.
Production of the CEN Workshop Agreement will allow UNICORN to better and faster exploit the project results. The produced standard, or, in this case, the CWA, increases the interoperability and enables the comparison of UNICORN’s outcomes with the products already existing in the market. In addition, it will ensure a better dissemination of the UNICORN’s results to a wider community.
What is the CEN Workshop Agreement and how does it work?
Workshop Agreements are considered as the consensus documents developed during the workshops where any interested stakeholder can participate. First of all, the Project Plan and other relevant documents have to be submitted to the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre (CCMC). The CCMC examines the documents and then publishes the draft Project Plan on their website for at least 30 days. In this way, all the interested stakeholders can get informed about the standardization proposal, and can submit their comments or express their interest to participate in the CWA development process.
At least 30 days after the publication of the draft Project Plan, the kick off meeting for the CWA can take place, where the Project Plan gets approved by the participants and a chairperson of the CEN-Workshop gets appointed. From this point on, the development of the CWA starts, and an entire process can take, on average, between 10-12 months. It is much faster than developing an actual standard, thus more suitable for the UNICORN project which will end in 2020.
In the lifespan of the CWA (which is 3 years, and can be extended to another 3), the CWA can get transformed into another type of standards deliverable, such as a Technical Specification or full European standard.
Next steps of the UNICORN consortium
In the next UNICORN consortium meeting (June, 2018), consortium partner DIN, which leads the standardisation activities, will organise a workshop on standard development. Together with other consortium partners, they will prepare the documents needed to initiate the CWA (draft Project Plan, self-assessment, analysis of interest). Afterwards, DIN will submit these documents to the CCMC, and continue with the CWA development process.
UNICORN is ready for another international event! The next one is the IOT WEEK, to be held in Bilbao (from 4th until 7th of June 2018). One partner from the consortium, Cloud Incubator Hub, will be one of the exhibitors. Participants are welcomed to visit the stand to know more about UNICORN cloud computing software for SMEs and startups.
The IoT Week gathers the community of stakeholders engaged in developing new Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and solutions.
Experts, researchers, IoT focused companies, research centres, European research projects, start-ups and international organizations will identify emerging trends and technologies that will impact the future.
The event is co-organized by the IoT Forum and IK4-TEKNIKER. The programme is available here.
UNICORN project partners have already released its framework components and mechanisms prototypes! It means we are just a step away from the first release of the integrated platform!
Want to know more? Find here our deliverables on the cloud apps development and management, the orchestration and resource management, the continuous security and data privacy enforcement and the cloud monitoring.
Want to try our first version of the UNICORN platform? Stay tuned for more news!
The European SMEs, which have recently faced contract-related problems using cloud computer services, are invited to voice them, and contribute to the better cloud computing environment in Europe. Your data has been lost or destructed? Have you faced the unforeseen fees for the portability of data? Contractual terms and conditions were not clear or were unilaterally modified? If you can identify with these or similar issues, you are invited to fill in the survey here and influence the future of cloud computing services in Europe.
The purpose of this survey is to identify the problems that SMEs in the EU encounter by using cloud computing services. The survey serves as part of a bigger study which analyzes the economic damage to SMEs arising from unfair and unbalanced cloud computing contracts. The study will provide economic evidence for assessing the need for any further EU actions, be they legislative, soft law, awareness raising or other, to increase SMEs’ trust in cloud computing services and to allow them to fully reap the cost savings and other benefits stemming from cloud computing.
Target audience: SMEs who use cloud computing services and who are established in one of the 12 selected Member States and are active in one of the 5 selected economic sectors.
Member States selected: the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Spain, and The Netherlands.
Economic sectors selected (and their corresponding NACE codes): manufacturing (C); the wholesale and retail trade (G); professional, scientific and technical activities (M69-M74); administrative and support service activities (N); information and communication (J).
Period of consultation: from 13/04/2018 to 04/05/2018.
The study is carried out by Ernst & Young and commissioned by the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers of the European Commission.
This information is taken from digitalsme.eu
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