Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Government Cloud, @CloudExpo

Government Cloud: Blog Feed Post

Cloud Federation and the Intercloud

Advances in federation are good news for companies considering a move to the cloud since deployments no longer need to be custom

5th International Cloud Expo New York

Last week's post explored federation in the cloud, allowing enterprises to move workloads seamlessly across internal and external clouds according to business and application requirements. Advances in federation are good news for companies considering a move to the cloud since deployments no longer need to be custom projects and applications no longer have to be tightly coupled to a particular cloud.

To follow up, there's been lots of discussion recently about the concept of the "Intercloud," a direction for cloud computing that is closely related to federation and ties in with much of our work at CloudSwitch. A term introduced by Cisco, the Intercloud refers to a mesh of clouds that are interconnected based on open standards to provide a universal environment for cloud computing. Like the name suggests, it's similar to the Internet model, where everything is federated in a ubiquitous, multiple-provider infrastructure.

The primary difference between the Intercloud and federation is that the Intercloud is based on future standards and open interfaces, while federation uses a vendor version of the control plane. With the Intercloud vision, all clouds will have a common understanding of how applications should be deployed. Eventually workloads submitted to a cloud will include enough of a definition (resources, security, service level, geo-location, etc.) that the cloud is able to process the request and deploy the application. This will create the true utility model, where all the requirements are met by the definition and the application can execute "as is" in any cloud with the resources to support it.

What shape the Intercloud will take and what standards will emerge to make it work are part of an ongoing debate. Some industry watchers believe it will happen sooner than later. Others believe that discussion of the Intercloud is premature, wary that embracing standards too quickly will hold back innovation, and therefore the Intercloud will remain only a vision for the foreseeable future. When these debates will be resolved is anyone's guess, but major progress in cloud integration is already underway, so there's no need for enterprises to put their cloud plans on hold.

At CloudSwitch, we believe that the Intercloud is likely to emerge organically as the result of continuing innovations throughout the cloud ecosystem. Federation is one of the prerequisites toward that goal, providing ongoing improvements in cloud interoperability aimed at giving enterprises many new options from which to choose. The ability to federate identity, access and dataset migration is also one of the key requirements for Intercloud activity. This interoperability at the infrastructure level has to work transparently in order to launch applications into the cloud environment and manage the integration.

The benefits of the Intercloud are in many ways already a practical reality. A significant part of the Intercloud vision can be achieved with a strong federation technology that provides a gateway between different clouds and the internal data center. Users and their companies can avoid lock-in and run workloads in the environment that best matches their needs, based on cost, performance, security, compliance, geography, latency, etc.  In short, some of the most important Intercloud goals can be achieved using technology already coming to market.

More Stories By Ellen Rubin

Ellen Rubin is the CEO and co-founder of ClearSky Data, an enterprise storage company that recently raised $27 million in a Series B investment round. She is an experienced entrepreneur with a record in leading strategy, market positioning and go-to- market efforts for fast-growing companies. Most recently, she was co-founder of CloudSwitch, a cloud enablement software company, acquired by Verizon in 2011. Prior to founding CloudSwitch, Ellen was the vice president of marketing at Netezza, where as a member of the early management team, she helped grow the company to more than $130 million in revenues and a successful IPO in 2007. Ellen holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Harvard University.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...