The Cloud: Problem and Solution

Posted on August 6, 2014

The following is an excerpt from the whitepaper, Brokering Your Way to Cloud Computing Success. For more information on Cloud brokering strategy and philosophy and to receive the whitepaper, join the live webinar on Thursday, August 21sthttps://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/416594561

Cloud computing adoption is accelerating as Cloud enablement technologies, Cloud management tools, and Cloud application development frameworks mature. As organizations consider their own Cloud adoption roadmaps, they must understand the various Cloud enablement technologies and how they enable different Cloud value propositions to be achieved. Private Cloud technologies, public Cloud services, and the integration and aggregation tools for both to enable hybrid Clouds or multi-Cloud deployments continue to rapidly evolve. However, Cloud management APIs are not converging, and industry standards are trailing industry innovation, making the multi-Cloud deployment the rule rather than the exception. Some organizations are turning to the concept of a Cloud broker to help navigate this dynamic Cloud computing environment.

The Cloud Problem: Consuming Multi-Cloud Services

The problem is not the Cloud delivery model, which is being quite well done by Amazon, Google, Rackspace, Microsoft and a host of others. The real problem is enabling business capabilities to be performed faster, better, and cheaper via the consumption of Cloud services. For certain business capabilities, this means being able to develop new business applications and new products and services faster, better and cheaper via the consumption of Cloud services. Enabling faster application development (Cloud services consumption) using Cloud services provided by multiple Cloud providers is a major driver of Cloud services consumption by today’s enterprises. That’s not to say the other strategic objectives from Cloud computing are not equally important, such as reducing IT costs, implementing an asset light IT infrastructure delivery model, and achieving business agility through Cloud services. However, it is becoming more common to implement a multi-Cloud strategy to achieve these objectives.

If you are only consuming Amazon Web services, Google Cloud services, or other Cloud services, your consumption challenges are most likely fairly minimal. You can use their services, their management tools, and their orchestration templates to build applications on their Cloud services and achieve most of your Cloud computing objectives. However, if your Cloud strategy is to consume services from multiple Cloud providers, then you will have to approach your Cloud strategy differently. More than likely, some form of Cloud brokering middleware will be necessary.

Cloud Broker Defined

A Cloud broker has two broad meanings: A Cloud broker on one hand is an organizational function, whereby an organizational entity provides intermediation services between Cloud providers and Cloud consumers such that there is added value in the brokering function. This is Cloud Broker with a capital “B.” A Cloud broker on the other hand is a class of enabling technologies that enable Cloud services to be accessed from multiple Cloud providers, via a brokering platform, such that Cloud services consumption is simplified by virtue of the Cloud brokering technology and capabilities. This is a Cloud broker with a lower case “b.” The illustration below conceptualizes the Cloud broker model as comprised equally of an organizational function and an enabling technology.

cloud-broker-model

For more information on Cloud brokering strategy and philosophy, join the live webinar, Brokering Your Way to Cloud Computing Success, on Thursday, August 21sthttps://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/416594561