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Cloudy in guifi.net: Establishing and sustaining a community cloud as open commons

TitleCloudy in guifi.net: Establishing and sustaining a community cloud as open commons
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsBaig, R, Freitag, F, Navarro-Moldes, L
JournalFuture Generation Computer Systems
Date Published01/2018
ISSN0167-739X
KeywordsCloudy software stack, Common-pool resources, Commons, community clouds, community networks, Self-organised governance systems, Self-provisioning
AbstractCommons are natural or human-made resources that are managed cooperatively. The guifi.net community network is a successful example of a digital infrastructure, a computer network, managed as an open commons. Inspired by the guifi.net case and its commons governance model, we claim that a computing cloud, another digital infrastructure, can also be managed as an open commons if the appropriate tools are put in place. In this paper, we explore the feasibility and sustainability of community clouds as open commons: open user-driven clouds formed by community-managed computing resources. We propose organising the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) cloud service layers as common-pool resources (CPR) for enabling a sustainable cloud service provision. On this basis, we have outlined a governance framework for community clouds, and we have developed Cloudy, a cloud software stack that comprises a set of tools and components to build and operate community cloud services. Cloudy is tailored to the needs of the guifi.net community network, but it can be adopted by other communities. We have validated the feasibility of community clouds in a deployment in guifi.net of some 60 devices running Cloudy for over two years. To gain insight into the capacity of end-user services to generate enough value and utility to sustain the whole cloud ecosystem, we have developed a file storage application and tested it with a group of 10 guifi.net users. The experimental results and the experience from the action research confirm the feasibility and potential sustainability of the community cloud as an open commons.
URLhttp://people.ac.upc.edu/leandro/docs/cloudy.pdf
DOI10.1016/j.future.2017.12.017