Calling the cloud: enabling mobile phones as interfaces to cloud applications
Mobile phones are set to become the universal interface to online services and cloud computing applications. However, using them for this purpose today is limited to two configurations: applications either run on the phone or run on the server and are remotely accessed by the phone. These two options do not allow for a customized and flexible service interaction, limiting the possibilities for performance optimization as well. In this paper we present a middleware platform that can automatically distribute different layers of an application between the phone and the server, and optimize a variety of objective functions (latency, data transferred, cost, etc.). Our approach builds on existing technology for distributed module management and does not require new infrastructures. In the paper we discuss how to model applications as a consumption graph, and how to process it with a number of novel algorithms to find the optimal distribution of the application modules. The application is then dynamically deployed on the phone in an efficient and transparent manner. We have tested and validated our approach with extensive experiments and with two different applications. The results indicate that the techniques we propose can significantly optimize the performance of cloud applications when used from mobile phones.