Objectives

SUNFISH will develop and integrate software enabling secure cloud federation as required by the Public Sector. The project will achieve this by meeting the specific challenges faced by the Maltese and Italian Ministries of Finance, as well as by the UK Regional Cyber Crime Units. Solutions developed will be exploited so as to be usable by other Public, and potentially also Private Sector, PlayersSpecific Objectives:

  1. Integrate different clouds assuring information securitySUNFISH will develop a secure system to federate private clouds that will guarantee a high level of security, a continuous monitoring of inter-cloud communications, and the ability to roll out services cheaply – in a fast, flexibly and secure way – even between different private clouds.These solutions are particularly pertinent given the current context. All the European Public Administrations are considering with great interest the evolution of the ICT scenario towards “cloud” technologies, in order to achieve the best results in terms of costs cutting and efficiency improvement.In 2010, the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) inscribed cloud computing on their current and emerging research trends. The European Commission also made an explicit reference to cloud computing in the ‘Digital Agenda for Europe 2020’. Following this initiative, the SUNFISH project aims at consolidating Europe as a ‘trusted cloud region’ in the post-Prism age, through the implementation of high standards for data protection, cyber security and transparency as regards public services.
  2. Greater infrastructure usage efficiency thanks to a more effective workload management between shared private clouds
    The SUNFISH project aims to reduce the management cost of private clouds owned by Public Administrations. Many Public Administrations in Europe are facing the need of managing in a secure way data that are growing day by day, assuming scale factors that overcome the economic and technical capabilities of a single entity, even in a big Country. There is a need to build up a federated cloud infrastructure specifically dedicated to several Public Administration Players. The SUNFISH project will develop workload management innovations which will allow this to occur. The private cloud infrastructures that support such applications are often fully utilized only during brief periods of time, such as a few days per month. When these huge and costly infrastructures are not optimally used, they represent only a cost for the Public Administration. There is the need to be able to bring together the private cloud infrastructures of different Public Administrations, both at a national level, as well as cross-border through Europe. As an example, the data center of Italy Ministry of Economy and Finance uses about 2000MWh per year of power. The major application, the “payroll” functions for over 1.5 million Italian Public Sector employees, takes advantage of the full computing infrastructure only four days per month. On average the resources are used only for 30% of their potentiality. A federated cloud will allow other national or EU Public Administration to take advantage of the cloud infrastructure of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance for the remaining 70% of the time.
  3. The development of services for EU citizens which use sensitive data shared securely between different private clouds
    Beyond pure costs savings, cloud computing could accelerate the transition to 21st century interoperable and scalable public services, boosting the enforcement of the European Digital Single Market. Indeed, cloud computing could contribute to decrease public costs and push public benefits up by settling a sounder base for economic activities involving the whole population1. The European Commission underlined this priority in its Communication on ‘Unleashing the Potential of Cloud Computing in Europe’ released in 2012, and the European Parliament mentioned cloud computing as a top priority on the political agenda in the Castillo’s Report2 of October 2013. A Report on ‘Establishing a Trusted Cloud Europe’3 was prepared by the European Cloud Partnership (ECP) to propose options on how to help public and private organisations in Europe buy and sell cloud services in a secure environment. The European Commission also recognized the need for a EU-wide strategy on cloud computing in order to encourage governments to strengthen the Internal Market. Meanwhile, the European Parliament issued the Moraes’ Report4 on the US NSA surveillance programme and called for clarifying cloud computing rules in EU relations with third countries. During the 7th EU Brazil Summit5 of February 2014, the Council welcomed the enlarged policy cooperation in cloud computing. At the recent EPP Group’s event on ‘Perspectives for an Open, Transparent and Fair Internet for All Citizens’ Rights and Business Environment beyond 2014’, former Commissioner Neelie Kroes reiterated the need for a trusted environment so that cloud computing receives public’s attention and delivers its potential in terms of economic results. Finally, the launch by the European Commission of the ‘Coco Cloud project – A Confidential, compliant cloud project to help making Europe a single market for cloud computing’6 aims ensuring that users can share data in the cloud securely and privately. SUNFISH moves directly from this, setting the base for European Public Sector Players to develop new services for EU citizens, finally taking advantage of federated clouds which can start hosting – and especially sharing – also sensitive data.