Cloud computing offerings traditionally originate from a handful of large and well established providers, which monopolize the market, preventing small players and individuals from having a share. As a result, the few, blindly and perforce trusted entities define the prices and manage to gain a significant competitive advantage by exploiting the knowledge derived by users’ data and computations. To tackle this monopoly and empower the democratization and full decentralization of the cloud computing market, we present CloudAgora, a platform that enables any potential resource provider, ranging from individuals to large companies, to monetize idle resources competing on equal terms, and allows any cloud consumer to enjoy access to low-cost storage and computation without having to trust any central authority. The key enabler of the platform is Blockchain technology, which is used to record commitment policies through the use of smart contracts, publicly verify off-chain services, both storage and computation related, and trigger automatic micropayments. On one hand, cloud consumers have the chance to request storage or compute resources, upload data, and outsource task processing over remote, fully distributed infrastructures. Although such infrastructures cannot be a priori trusted, CloudAgora offers mechanisms to ensure the verifiable validity of the outsourced storage and computation, discourage potential providers from behaving maliciously, and incentivize participants to play fair. On the other hand, providers are able to participate in auctions, placing bids for storage or computation tasks, serve requests, and offer validity proofs upon request. Our prototype is built as a Dapp on top of Ethereum and is available as an open source project.
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