Cloud Computing represents a radical change in the way we organize and use computing resources and storage. The scientific and academic communities face the challenge of not only adapting their …
Cloud Computing represents a radical change in the way we organize and use computing resources and storage. The scientific and academic communities face the challenge of not only adapting their procedures to this new paradigm, but also contributing Cloud Computing development and leading its evolution towards open, secure and interoperable computing infrastructures, which will playing a key role in the community clouds paradigm.
The Spanish MEGHA initiative promotes and coordinates contributions to cloud computing R&D, education and management made by institutions affiliated with RedIRIS  in Spain. In the first phase (2010–2012), MEGHA validated federated cloud platforms using Opennebula and OCCI  to streamline the use of cloud technologies among R&E service centers. Representative infrastructure providers (CESCA, CESGA, PIC), middleware providers (OpenNebula, RedIRIS, OSAmI-Commons) and users (UAB, UOC, UM) together with intermediate/identity/brokers resources (RedIRIS) joined efforts to demonstrate the viability of this approach.
The results stimulated the development of use cases including e-learning platforms on demand (Learning Apps project), a distributed HPC platform (e-Science), and Virtual Labs (VDI) in a hybrid scenario (Academic services).
As next goal, the Spanish research and academic community is working to assess the possibilities of creating a productive Infrastructure Cloud Computing service within member institutions. With this new approach new challenges appear:
Federated user authentication and authorization mechanisms.
Brokering architecture scenario.
Secure VM image distribution and validation.
A federated cloud accounting system integrating the accounting records of multiple cloud managers and supporting federated cloud governance.
Monitoring and notification of unpredictable changes in availability and readability status.
Security Policies and Service Level Agreements (SLA’s).