Marketplace in Mantychore FP7

In previous posts (links: description, requeriments, security, related projects), we commented that Mantychore FP7 has two main objectives:

  • Mantychore FP7 as a module within OpenNaaS [a]. It will provide a set of services and tools to manage cloud services around the different layers:  layer 1 (physical layer), layer 2 (data link layer), layer 3 (network layer).
  • Exploit this Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) paradigm to enable National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) and other e-Infrastructure Providers to enhance their service portfolio by building and deploying the software and tools to provide Networks as a Service.

Mantychore external architecture

About this last topic and as part of the Mantychore FP7 project, the marketplace work package expects to design and develop an infrastructure to trade different Mantychore resources.  This marketplace will facilitate the exchange among different administrators and users.  In Mantychore FP7, we can difference three different roles that will be represented in our scenario.

  • Infrastructure Provider (InP) or infrastructure owner (IO): This user can assign permissions to the infrastructure resources he owns so that external users can control it. Infrastructure instances can be either physical (e.g. a physical router) or virtual (e.g. a logical router). In the Mantychore FP7 case, NRENs are the Infrastructure Providers, offering their infrastructure to user communities.
  • Service Provider (SP) or Virtual Operator (VO): This user can harvest infrastructure instances from one or more Infrastructure Providers and integrate them into his management domain (e.g. he can integrate several routers into an IP network). He can also act as an Infrastructure Provider and reassign the permissions on “his” infrastructure instances so that other Service Providers can control them (it is a recursive process). He normally uses the infrastructure instances of his domain to provide some kind of service to end users (e.g. an IP Network service). In the Mantychore FP7 scenario, an international community of researchers could create a virtual organisation with their own dedicated IP network (built using resources from different NRENs). One partner of this international research community would adopt the role of the “Service Provider” – typically the leader of the testbed Work Package in a European project, for example.
  • End User (EU): Uses the services offered by the Virtual Operator. These users belong to a virtual community that receives several infrastructure resources and creates one or more IP Networks out of them. Users are empowered to change some attributes of the IP network service (such as internal routing, IP addressing, peering, create circuits between endpoints, firewalls), but wouldn’t be able to modify the number of resources in the network. In any case, it would be their virtual operator the one controlling the permissions of each individual user (hence the definition of different user profiles is possible).

Motivation for the marketplace

In the architecture which Mantychore FP7 has developed, without  a resource broker in place, the business agreement between SPs and Infrastructure Providers would be an out of band manual process as follows:

  1. Users request infrastructure resources i.e. virtual infrastructure.
  2. The Service Provider (SP) of the user responds by asking what he/she needs.
  3. The Infrastructure Provider (InP) uses the Mantychore tools to check the inventory of physical devices. He/she looks at the current utilisation, and, if he/she can fulfil the request, agrees with the user’s SP in the provision of the virtual Infrastructure resources. A negotiation about the price and the characteristics of these instances (e.g. routers and switches) starts between the SP and InPs.
  4. Users’ SP may accept the offer from an InP, or may further negotiates with it.
  5. If a user agrees, the InP uses Mantychore tools to substrate the virtual Infrastructure resources and assign permissions to the SP.
    The SP uses Mantychore tools to check the infrastructure resources assigned to him/her, the SP can also assign the resources to IP networks and carry out the configurations.
  6. If the SP needs more infrastructure resources, he/she needs to repeat this process with other InPs.
  7. Finally, if these resources will be allocated to end users (EU) who will use the IP network services which SP providers.

Although this negotiation is simple to implement and works in the real world, it is clearly not optimal because:

  • The SP has to contact each InPs individually.
  • The SP only knows what is available when he/she negotiates with the each individual InP.
  • The InP allocates infrastructure resources manually, which may not use the physical infrastructure resource efficiently in terms of resource utilisation.


Therefore, the possibility to automate above process, or some parts of it, would be a useful enhancement to the Mantychore. In order to achieve this goal, a mechanism named Marketplace is proposed. The proposed marketplace is a resource broker that mediates between InPs and SPs/users. The Marketplace provides a set of services and tools designed to reduce costs and enhance the efficiency in the marketing of IP network services.
In order to solve this design problem, Mantychore FP7 has designed the marketplace architecture:

Mantychore marketplace


  1. InP gets resource information (1) to publish the resource in the marketplace (MP).
  2. Publish resource information in the MP (2).
  3. Resource information is added in the MP module (3).
  4. The MP module gets all the necessary information from the Mantychore framework (Mchore) (4).
  5. SP needs a set of virtual resources. It sends a request  to the MP (5).
  6. The reservation module searches available resources (6)  among different Mchores (7).
  7. It is replied the available resources with all the necessary information (f.e: connectivity information)  to the SP (8).

Future and conclusions

The ideas and necessary steps to implement the Mantychore FP7 marketplace are consolidated; the next objective is the implementation. In these steps, the Mantychore FP7 team are designing and discussing which parameters have to have defined in each published resource (for instance: Capacity, CPU or bandwidth) and which model representation standard will be able to come up all the requeriments. Currently,  Mantychore FP7 is cooperating using the CIM and NDL modeling tools.  Finally, Mantychore FP7 will finish its marketplace implementation and it will provide the necessary functionalities to manage the registered resources.

To get more information, please visit our project page:

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a.- OPENNAAS. Framework with the objective to create a project neutral software community that allows several stakeholders to contribute and benefit from a common NaaS software stack.

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