All research projects

Sustainable Cloud

The ever-increasing digitalization of our world exacerbated the need (and opportunity) to address global sustainability goals at the software level. In fact, architecting sustainable software-intensive systems is recognized as one of the grand challenges of contemporary software engineering. The ubiquity of such systems provides a unique opportunity for a singular point of intervention in ameliorating sustainability across the socio-technical spectrum. At the same time, it also generates the necessary urgency in delivering sustainability through appropriate architecting practices. These practices are particularly compelling because they allow us to reason and evaluate system sustainability throughout the system’s lifecycle. The wide adoption of cloud computing, however, where software, platforms, and infrastructure are delivered as-a-service makes this task complicated due to the opaqueness of consumed services. Related work on the topic so far has focused mainly on minimizing energy consumption at the data center level, i.e. on the environmental dimension, at the expense of the other sustainability dimensions, that is the technical, economic, and social ones. To address this deficiency, this project aims to develop a sustainability-aware architecting framework specifically for cloud-based software services which incorporates all dimensions of system sustainability. The framework is structured around the use of sustainability indicators, one per dimension, as the means of abstracting away from dimension-specific concerns. A major component of this project is the definition and evaluation of appropriate metrics associated with each indicator. Beyond that, our position, which we aim to test through this project, is that improving the indicator for each of the sustainability dimensions creates a positive reinforcement effect on the other indicators. We aim to investigate the efficacy of this (pro)position through a combination of empirical software engineering and design science. To achieve this goal, we will also create solid architecting tools, methods, and guidelines for delivering sustainability-aware cloud-based software services. By these means, SustainableCloud will actively contribute to developing a sustainability-aware future cloud


SEARCH Group • University of Groningen • 2023
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