Providing services in distributed, heterogeneous and constantly changing environment of community networks is very challenging. Services can face enormous challenges due to many factors as: limited capacity of servers and links, the structure and diameter of network graph, fluctuations in the network due to load, faults etc. Different type of services like data-intensive, latency-sensitive and highly geo-distributed services have different performance requirement. In order to achieve an acceptable service performance in this dynamic environment, we must carefully balance cloud resources and dynamic workloads of applications. We need a predictive performance model that will analyse such application services and will determine when and how much resources to allocate to each application.
Because Guifi.net nodes are geographically distributed, given a set of local services (e.g., distributed storage, video streaming), we need to decide where these services should be placed in a network. Obviously, without taking into account the underlying network resources, a service may suffer from poor performance, e.g, by sending large amounts of data across slow wireless links while faster and more reliable links remain underutilized. Therefore, the key challenge in community network clouds is to determine the location of deployment, i.e. servers at certain geographic points in the network, with the different services multiplexed on a shared infrastructure. Although conceptually straightforward, it is challenging to calculate an optimal decision due to the dynamic nature of community networks and usage patterns. In our work we aim to address the following question:
Given a community network cloud infrastructure, what is an effective and low-complexity service placement solution that maximizes end-to-end performance ?
The CLOMMUNITY project aims at addressing the obstacles for communities of citizens in bootstrapping, running and expanding community-owned networks that provide community services organised as community clouds. That requires solving specific research challenges imposed by the requirement of: self-managing and scalable decentralized infrastructure services for the management and aggregation of a large number of widespread low-cost unreliable networking, storage and home computing resources; distributed platform services to support and facilitate the design and operation of elastic, resilient and scalable service overlays and user-oriented services built over these underlying services, providing a good quality of experience at the lowest economic and environmental cost. This will be achieved through experimentally-driven research, using the FIRE CONFINE community networking testbed, the participation of large user communities, and software developers from several community networks, by extending existing cloud service prototypes in a cyclic participatory process of design, development, experimentation, evaluation and optimization for each challenge.
Large-scale integrating project (IP) Community networks are an emerging and successful model for the Future Internet across Europe and far beyond.The CONFINE project complements existing FIRE infrastructure by establishing a new facility built on the federation of existing community IP networks constituted by more than 20,000 nodes and 20,000 Km of links. These community networks incorporate a large and wide variety of commodity wireless and optical links, heterogeneous nodes, different routing protocols, applications and a large number of end-users, following an innovative model of self-provisioning using unlicensed and public spectrum.The project develops a unified access to an open testbed with tools that allow researchers to deploy, run, monitor and experiment with services, protocols and applications on real-world community IP networks. This integrated platform will provide user-friendly access to these emerging networks supporting any stakeholder interested in developing and testing experimental technologies for open and interoperable network infrastructures, strengthening open community networks. This type of networks is an emerging and successful model for the Future Internet across Europe and beyond. The project includes as partners well established community networks with large end-user bases and diverse application providers (e.g. content distribution, voice, data and multimedia communication), research institutions with experience in key related areas, non-profit organizations and SMEs with experience in supporting researchers, community networks and end-users.