Through the WARA Common Information Bridge (WCIB) project, researchers at Umeå University in collaboration with Ericsson Research, have created an online portal with unique services to produce, filter and extract large volumes of operations data from a live Cloud facility. The portal will enable research on data-driven cloud computing and is a step towards the development of novel research into autonomous management systems – including better workload prediction, anomaly detection, and energy efficiency approaches.

Modern distributed systems are dynamic, heterogeneous, and massive in scale – they need to proactively predict and react to changes in demand and environment, and rapidly respond to failures and intrusions. However, the sheer complexity of these systems means that human management is no longer possible – autonomous mechanisms for management and control are essential at all layers of the stack. To create these mechanisms, researchers require operations data on which to perform learning, reasoning, and prediction. This is a significant problem: few such datasets are freely available to researchers, even globally, and those that are only contain partial system views such as incoming requests but not resultant system effects.

-The WCIB project has created an online portal with associated data services to produce, filter and extract large volumes of operations data from a live Cloud facility – the Ericsson Research Data Center in Lund, known to WASP researchers as WARA-Common, says Paul Townend, Associate Professor at Umeå University.

The data made available by WCIB is “full stack”, enabling access to correlated data from hardware and facility systems to network traffic information and software workload metrics:

-To our best knowledge, WCIB is the largest source of live operational data center data anywhere in the world, says Paul Townend.

-Thanks to the WCIB project, a significant number of modifications and updates to the WARA-Common system have been made by Ericsson Research to properly collect metric and log data and ensure that this data can only be accessed by users with appropriate access privileges and does not contain any confidential information, says Paul Townend.

-Umeå developed the web-based portal system; the portal supports secure log-in, a graphical query building interface (so no knowledge of data query languages is required by users), interactive data visualization, and the ability to download datasets in both CSV, JSON and text log format, Paul Townend continues.

Access to the portal

The project has now been completed, and the data center portal is now working and able to query and access operational data from WARA-Common. Final work is being carried out by Ericsson Research over the next few months to ensure the system is robust and secure; it is hoped that members of the WASP community will be able to access the portal in early 2023:

-The outcome of the WCIB project has been instrumental in planning the next generation WARA-Common. The developed WCIB data portal will allow for researchers in the WASP community to access real-world operations data. In addition, it has served to showcase the potential of a future larger collaboration platform involving more companies than just Ericsson. The interaction with Prof Townend has been very productive and more rewarding. We are very grateful for the bridge project funding from WASP, says Johan Eker, Adjunct Professor and Principal Researcher at Ericsson.

The WASP Industry Bridge initiative supports initial steps in forming foundations for research collaborations between academy and industry. A call for Industry Bridge was open until January 10th 2023.

Published: November 25th, 2022

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