Scalable Computing

Delegation across storage clouds: On-boarding federation as a case study

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As the volume of digital data rapidly increases, storage clouds are becoming a popular solution for both enterprise and personal data, and the number of storage cloud solutions is also increasing. However, these solutions do not yet deal with the need of customers for interoperability and data migration from one cloud to another. These issues can be addressed through federation of cloud infrastructures. An important aspect of federation is delegation of access control, where one actor, e.g., an end user, authorizes another actor, e.g., a cloud provider, to act on its behalf, typically with a subset of its access rights, safely and securely. This paper deals with delegation across storage clouds. We describe a delegation architecture for on-boarding federation, which allows an enterprise to efficiently migrate its data from one storage cloud provider to another (e.g., for business or legal reasons), while providing continuous access and a unified view over the data during the migration. In our architecture a user delegates a subset of his access rights on the source and destination clouds to an on-boarding federation layer on the destination cloud. This enables on-boarding to occur in a safe and secure way, such that the on-boarding layer has the least privilege required to carry out its work. We evaluate the security implications of delegation that need to be taken into account for on-boarding. We also show how the delegation architecture can be implemented using the Security Assertion Markup Language. © 2013 SCPE.