Improving multi-cloud software

Easier cloud services for SMEs and startups

The main expected outcome of the Unicorn project is to simplify the design, deployment and management of secure and elastic –by design- multi-cloud services. This will be achieved by enabling continuous orchestration and automatic optimization of portable and dynamic cloud services running on virtual instances or micro-execution containers for increased security, data protection privacy and vast resource (de)-allocation.


To facilitate the design and deployment of cloud applications and services by developing a security and elasticity by design framework which is independent of the underlying infrastructure and cloud deployment environment by following these steps:

To collect the set of functional and non-functional requirements that need to be supported by UNICORN, translate them into solid technical requirements that will guide the definition of the UNICORN Framework, and upon these specify the scenarios and use cases that need to be supported (available by Month 6);

To design the UNICORN Reference Architecture, as well as to specify the core architectural components and models and the information exchange amongst them (available by Month 9); To develop a cloud IDE plugin, which incorporates a set of software code annotations and validation tools for security, privacy protection, monitoring and elasticity policy definition at the platform, application, component and even code segment level (available by Month 15);

To design and implement the set of libraries, plugins and mechanisms that are going to facilitate developers to implement robust applications following a security and elasticity by design development paradigm (available by Month 15);

To design and implement the mechanisms covering the overall deployment and orchestration processes (available by Month15);


To improve developers’ productivity by reducing cloud application design time via code annotations and blueprints for security and portability allowing developers to focus on application core functionality. That's why UNICORN project partners will:

Design and implement an application release automation mechanism that will accelerate software releases and reduce the timeframe of the application delivery lifecycle (available by Month 15);

Develop a cloud security benchmarking service that allows SMEs to see the risks and threats of their applications on various clouds, configurations and cost budgets (available by Month 27);

Design application blueprints that will improve the quality of software releases by ensuring security and portability by design of cloud offerings throughout their lifecycle, independent of the underlying infrastructure (available by Month 15);

Develop mechanisms that allow the implementation and continuous cloud application behaviour evaluation through user-defined optimization strategies ensuring local and contextual Security Level Agreements, including guarantee that applications execute in a trusted environment (hardware, operating system, software layers) and ability for applications to adapt to the current security level at run-time (available by Month 27);


To prove the applicability, usability, effectiveness and value of the UNICORN concept, models and mechanisms in industrial, real-life trustworthy services, applications and standards demonstrating and stress-testing the developed UNICORN artefacts, methodologies and services under pragmatic conditions against a pre-defined set of use cases

To introduce a new standard by extending the OASIS TOSCA specification, so as to accept annotated-based policies for describing elasticity, security and privacy constraints at the application and code segment level (available by Month 27); To implement continuous orchestration and automatic optimization of portable and dynamic cloud services running on virtual instances or micro-execution environments (available by Month 15);

To deploy and execute the applications/scenarios envisaged in the use cases and validate them in the testing environments provided by the consortium partners. The use cases will demonstrate how UNICORN improves the competitive position of the European cloud sector and facilitates the emergence of innovative business by efficiently designing, deploying and managing portable and interoperable cloud applications with security, data privacy, monitoring and elasticity by design spanning across multiple availability regions and cloud sites (available by Month 21);

To evaluate the performance of the deployed applications/scenarios and generate the lessons learnt as future reference for re-deployment at other pilot and/or productive sites (available by Month 33);

To set up an accelerator program through our startup incubator partner in order to use the UNICORN platform, benefit from its services and in turn help increase sustainability of the UNICORN platform (available by Month 27);