myTrustedCloud: Towards a virtual private cloud

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Oxford e-Research Centre


The current profusion of cloud infrastructures, built both within the public but also private space have enabled a significant body of research to move their computational requirements into this new paradigm. There are though a collection of usecases that are not able to make use of this new paradigm though it is clear that this would improve the provision of computational and data resources available to them. With the pilot energy applications that we are going to use, looking at the provision of Advanced Metering Infrastructure, Condition Monitoring and Distributed State Estimation we will prove that the utilisation of hardware trust within the system for attestation of state and identification of both the data and algorithms and their hosting virtual instances would mean that this high value critically important system could utilise cloud computing.Specific outputs will also include a detailed threat analysis of using IaaS cloud systems and the specific countermeasures that trusted platform allow within the system, an exemplar software framework in which energy researchers are able to start making use of commercially sensitive information while at the same time make full use of cloud computing. This framework will be documented such that other research areas will also be able to make use of the findings within the project in such sensitive areas as medical and social research, both of whom have traditionally extremely tight restrictions on data.

Planned Impact

This project has the possibility of having significant impact, to the research community, to the pilot use-case community (the energy distribution community) and the IT service provider community. - The research community will be able to prove that the distributed computing paradigm is suitable to be used in high trust requiring applications. - The Energy sector will be able to utilise cutting edge computational infrastructure and benefit from the lower costs of not having to use private network circuits that they have to maintain independent of load - The IT outsourcing community will be able to open up new markets, providing specific services to the energy industry. Other research and data integrity requiring communities will be able to follow the lead set by the energy industry in utilising externally provided services whilst still maintaining the ability to ensure that vital data remains private to themselves even if it is physically sitting on an external providers systems.
Description The current main problem with public cloud computing is the need for trust to be strongly and consistently established between the user and provider. The aim and main finding from myTrustedCloud is that bringing together Cloud and trusted computing will mean that we may in future be able to break this strong requirement.
Exploitation Route This output publication from the project has been very widely cited. The project has led to further funding through an InnovateUK KTP (KTP009786)
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Financial Services, and Management Consultancy,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Security and Diplomacy,Other

Description KTP with Newbury based public cloud provider 100percentIT on the development of publicly available cryptographically secure public cloud services.
First Year Of Impact 2015
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)
Impact Types Economic

Description Industry Sponsored (National Grid) EPSRC PhD Studentship - Developing Emerging Standards for Power System Data Exchange to Enable Interoperable and Scalable Operational Modelling and Analysis
Amount £56,000 (GBP)
Organisation National Grid UK 
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2010 
End 06/2013
Description Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
Amount £94,000 (GBP)
Funding ID KTP009786 
Organisation Innovate UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2015 
End 12/2017
Description 100PercentIT 
Organisation 100 Percent IT Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The work within this award has led to a lasting research partnership with 100PercentIT limited. We have submitted two InnovateUK main competition applications, one of which was unsuccessful and one which is still pending. We have had an InnovateUK KTP which is detailed in follow on funding and are preparing to submit another.
Collaborator Contribution They have led the two InnovateUK min competition submissions.
Impact There have been two publications listed elsewhere and they have been leading contributors to EC project submission in which we partner with them for H2020 applications. This work is around cloud computing, standardisation, trusted computing and cybersecurity.
Start Year 2012