Framework for developing automated infrastructure and software deployment for domain specific research
For the past 10 years the Cloud has been growing steadily. While the Cloud has been utilized heavily in industry, its application for research in academic settings has been limited. This underutilization is primarily due to the lack of time of scholars, lack of funding, and lack of technical expertise to set up a cloud and research platform to do analytics. The primary aim of this thesis research was to develop a framework that could aid researchers in academic settings in utilizing the benefits of cloud based research environments. The Cloud RAINS framework consists of an easy to use web-based interface which allows researchers to choose between pre-specified research domains and infrastructure properties. The framework then automatically builds a cloud environment based on these specifications using OpenStack, Ansible, and Python scripting. The framework makes it possible to deploy a set of tools used in a variety of research settings. These tools can be deployed without the researchers needing the knowledge of how to set up networking, start virtual instances, assign floating IP's, greatly improving access to cloud based computing. The only prerequisite for the framework is a basic understanding of what tools researchers would like to utilize in their new cloud environment.