Publications by Christopher Williams

Flexible services for the support of research.

Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci 371 (2013) 20120067-

M Turilli, D Wallom, C Williams, S Gough, N Curran, R Tarrant, D Bretherton, A Powell, M Johnson, T Harmer, P Wright, J Gordon

Cloud computing has been increasingly adopted by users and providers to promote a flexible, scalable and tailored access to computing resources. Nonetheless, the consolidation of this paradigm has uncovered some of its limitations. Initially devised by corporations with direct control over large amounts of computational resources, cloud computing is now being endorsed by organizations with limited resources or with a more articulated, less direct control over these resources. The challenge for these organizations is to leverage the benefits of cloud computing while dealing with limited and often widely distributed computing resources. This study focuses on the adoption of cloud computing by higher education institutions and addresses two main issues: flexible and on-demand access to a large amount of storage resources, and scalability across a heterogeneous set of cloud infrastructures. The proposed solutions leverage a federated approach to cloud resources in which users access multiple and largely independent cloud infrastructures through a highly customizable broker layer. This approach allows for a uniform authentication and authorization infrastructure, a fine-grained policy specification and the aggregation of accounting and monitoring. Within a loosely coupled federation of cloud infrastructures, users can access vast amount of data without copying them across cloud infrastructures and can scale their resource provisions when the local cloud resources become insufficient.

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