Thursday, May 3, 2012

EU-Funded Open Source Project OPTIMIS to Release Service Provider Cloud Toolkit

The European Union-funded open source project OPTIMIS will release its first version on June 1, 2012. European service providers can download the toolkit to help build and run applications in the cloud.

According to the announcement on Monday, the software toolkit will enable service providers to build service policies and virtual machines, as well as make deployment and infrastructure decisions based on trust, risk, eco-efficiency and cost.

Services can be deployed across private, hybrid, federated or multi-cloud environments.

Recent Gartner research shows public cloud services adoption increased 22.9 percent in 2011, and this toolkit will help drive that number as more European SMBs create cloud applications and services.

The toolkit is a component of the EU-wide strategy on cloud computing, which aims to extend EU’s research support and strengthen the technical standardization of APIs and data formats, and includes pilot projects support aiming at cloud deployments.

“The European digital Internet economy is already bigger than Belgium’s national economy and growing faster than the Chinese economy,” Neelie Kroes, vice president of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda said in a speech in COSAC Conference in Copenhagen last month. “Already worth hundreds of billions of euros, in a few years, it could reach over 5 percent of EU GDP. In some Member States it’s already higher. And by 2016, online spending could account for over one retail euro in ten.”

Csilla Zsigiri, director of consulting services EMEA at 451 Research and project spokesperson says that the OPTIMIS project is an important part of Kroes cloud initiative.

“This cloud strategy goes beyond a policy framework by stimulating new research and innovation, and the creation of pan-European partnerships to create better cloud environments and give European businesses, especially SMBs, a platform on which to innovate with new products and services,” Zsigri said in a statement.

While the launch is in June, the beta version has been tested by cloud providers involved in the project like Atos, Flexiant and Arsys. Ana Juan, head of service engineering and IT platforms lab at Atos says the OPTIMIS toolkit helps to eliminate the risks in building cloud environments, and hopes that more European SMBs will create new cloud applications and services.

According to the press release, the OPTIMIS programming component allows developers to define service elements and provides automation for creating VMs. The toolkit optimizes the deployment of the VMs to the service provider’s preferred infrastructure.

Once live, the service provider can continue to monitor, change and optimize the various configurations.

The toolkit incorporates data protection requirements, which Zsigiri is not only important in Europe, but worldwide.

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