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  The Cloud Research Simulation Toolkit

Download latest version of CReST from the CReST project page hosted on SourceForge.

The Cloud Research Simulation Toolkit (CReST) is a discrete-event cloud computing simulation platform written in Java. CReST was developed to address the need for a robust simulation modelling tool for research and teaching of data centre management and cloud provision. CReST is a stand-alone application, written in Java, and is freely available open source (GNU GPLv3). CReST has a unique feature set that enables simulation at multiple abstraction levels: from physical hardware, energy usage and thermal flows within a DC, to networked infrastructure and the virtualisation layer of application services supporting dynamic user demand.


CReST is designed as a set of coupled modules that can be independently switched on or off depending on the level of abstraction required. Modules include:
  • Thermal: Heat generation, propagation and extraction within the DC.

  • Energy: Energy used by DC hardware.

  • Failures: Permanent & temporary hardware failures.

  • Replacements: New hardware specifications.

  • Subscriptions: Middleware subscription network.

  • Services: Scheduling and allocation of VMs.

  • Pricing: Operational costs and pricing of services.

  • Demand: User demand and cloud brokerage.

  • UserEvents: User-defined events input via a text file.

  • GUI: Real-time display.

The flexible and extensible architecture of CReST enables new modules to be added, and current modules to be extended, as necessary.


CReST has been used for research in the following publications:
  • J. Cartlidge & P. Clamp, (2014), “Correcting a financial brokerage model for cloud computing: closing the window of opportunity for commercialisation,” Journal of Cloud Computing: Advances, Systems and Applications, vol. 3, no. 2, Apr 2014. [Abstract] [Open Access]

  • J. Cartlidge, (2014), “Trading experiments using financial agents in a simulated cloud computing commodity market,” in Proc. 6th Int. Conf. Agents and Artif. Intelligence, Vol. 2 - Agents (ICAART-2014). B. Duval, J. van den Herik, S. Loiseau & J. Filipe, Eds. Angers, France: SciTePress, Mar. 2014, pp. 311-317. [Abstract] [Camera-Ready Copy Available Online]

  • P. Clamp & J. Cartlidge, (2013), “Pricing the cloud: An adaptive brokerage for cloud computing,” in Proc. 5th Int. Conf. Advances in System Simulation (SIMUL-2013). M. Bauer & P. Lorenz, Eds. Venice, Italy: IARIA XPS Press, Oct 2013, pp. 113-121. [Abstract] [Open Access]

  • J. Cartlidge & D. Cliff, (2013), “Comparison of Cloud Middleware Protocols and Subscription Network Topologies using CReST, the Cloud Research Simulation Toolkit,” in Proc. 3rd Int. Conf. Cloud Computing and Services Science (CLOSER-2013). F. Desprez, D. Ferguson, E. Hadar, F. Leymann, M. Jarke & M. Helfert, Eds. Aachen, Germany: SciTePress, May 2013, pp. 58-68. [Abstract] [Available Online]

  • P. J. Clamp, (2013), “Pricing The Cloud: An Investigation into Financial Brokerage for Cloud Computing,” Masters dissertation, Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol, UK. [Available Online]
For a detailed description of CReST, refer to Cartlidge & Cliff (2013).


The following documents are designed to help users and developers quickly get started using and developing with CReST:

Download and Subversion Repository:

CReST is hosted on SourceForge. For all downloads, follow the link to the CReST project webpage.

CReST is an open-source collaborative project and many developers have contributed, including:

Philip Clamp, Dave Cliff, Luke Drury, Tomas Grazys, Sarah Haswell, James Laverack, Callum Muir, Owen Rogers, Alex Sheppard and Ilango Sriram.

If you would like to get involved and add your name to the list above, please contact John Cartlidge at the University of Bristol.

CReST: The Cloud Research Simulation Toolkit Copyright © 2011, 2012, 2013 John Cartlidge


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