Building the Environment for the Things as a Service
European Commission - FP7 ICT 2011-8
INTECS S.p.A (I)
ATOS (ES); Hewlett-Packard(IT); Converge ICT Solutions and Services (GR); Tecnalia (ES); Univ. Aalborg – CTIF (DK); Univ. Pisa (IT)
In BETaaS a platform will be developed for the execution of M2M applications built on top of services deployed in a “local cloud” of gateways. Scalability, security, dependability, context- and resource-awareness, and QoS will be embedded “by design” into the platform. Validation will be done through experiments targeting the Smart City and Home Automation use cases.
Today there are countless devices at work to improve productivity and quality of life of human beings, in all technological domains. In most cases they operate in isolation or with very little cooperation from their likes, and serve a well-defined single purpose for which they have been engineered. Such situation is sub-optimal because: (i) fine-grained (raw) data have to be conveyed in a centralized manner over the Internet from sensors up to the remote centre, thus, the things and gateways are effectively separated from the back-end both physically and logically; (ii) the current approach is vertical, i.e., each M2M application has its own remote centre for data storage and processing.
To overcome the limitations of the current systems for M2M applications, we propose a novel approach based on the following principles:
Storage and processing of data are as close as possible, in space and time, to where they are generated and consumed.
Important non-functional requirements, namely security, reliability and QoS, are supported by means of a tight integration of the high-level services provided with the physical resources of the peripheral devices, i.e., things and gateways.
Energy efficiency and scalability of the systems are achieved through the distribution of on-the-spot inferred content, rather than raw data.
These principles will be realized by defining a content-centric platform distributed over a local cloud, hosted by the gateways, providing an environment for applications accessing M2M services and devices through a set of services. Its deployment will be dynamic so as to follow the time-varying M2M services and the changing characteristics of the applications.
To design and realize a runtime platform for the deployment and execution of content-centric M2M applications, which relies on a local cloud of gateways.
The proposed platform will provide a uniform interface and services to map content (information) with things (resources) in a context-aware fashion.
Deployment of services for the execution of applications will be dynamic and will take into account the computational resources of the low-end physical devices used.
To this aim, the platform will need to be based on a suitable defined IoT model, which will allow the integration of the BETaaS components within the future Internet environment.
The barriers to enter the M2M segment today are high, since the market is very fragmented and user requirements and expectations are very heterogeneous. This scenario is especially harsh for small and medium players, who do not have a sufficiently vast commercial influence or the strength for massive marketing campaigns. By defining open interfaces, which will be also pushed for standardization in the relevant technical committees, M2M service providers have reduced risks of the investment and less training/setup costs, since they can re-use the skills and experience over different projects and also across various domains.
The BETaaS platform will be released as open source to achieve the following goals: i) to benefit from the contributions of the open source community of developers (in terms of customization, testing, developments, …) ; ii) to allow M2M service providers to focus on the application-specific aspects, without the need for working on common features, which reduces the development costs and time-to-market.