Welcome!

Cognitive Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Shelly Palmer, Rajeev Kozhikkattuthodi

Blog Feed Post

Cloud Brokerage and the Future of the IT Utility

Abstract:  Cloud Brokerage is an emerging trend in the broader cloud computing industry.  Opinions differ widely about what it means to be a broker and the significance brokers will have on the future of the industry as a whole.    The reality is that the brokerage model signals the real potential to commoditize the compute utility, which will climax with the genesis of compute as a tradable commodity like soybeans, oil or minerals.  In this four part series we will take a deep dive into the concept of cloud brokerage and connect the dots between the key trends and market demands that will shape a force few in the industry see coming and fewer still are prepared to accept.

Part I:  The Analysts Weigh In

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has established a working paper on the subject of cloud brokerage, signaling the importance of a movement that is taking shape inside the cloud computing industry as a whole.

The NIST working document describes the Cloud Brokerage success criteria as follows:

cloud-user wishes to carry out an action on cloud-provider-1 using a federated interface, with no direct knowledge of cloud-provider-1 commands or interfaces. A cloud-management-broker offers the cloud-user a federated interface to multiple cloud-providers through a human user interface, an application programming interface or both.  The cloud-user selects desired cloud-provider-1 resources, action and action parameters using the cloud-management-broker interface.  The cloud-management-broker collects and marshals the selected action and parameters from the cloud-user‘s selection and issues the desired command to cloud-provider-1 using cloud-provider-1 native interface.

The idea of cloud brokerage warranted enough noise to be covered in detail within the analyst community in 2011.   However, depending with whom you subscribe, cloud brokerage has very different meanings.  While there has been definite progress on the behalf of the analyst community, I think the potential for what this model could mean for the cloud computing market goes much deeper.

To be clear, I believe the role of what I am calling the “infrastructure broker” will be the most significant movement in the computing industry since the advent of virtualization and cloud.

Before I get into the immense complexities of that statement, let’s take a look a few perspectives from key industry analysts:

Gartner:

According to Gartner research expert Benoit Lheureux, the role of the Cloud Service Broker (CSB) is to “aggregate and add value to cloud services by providing a single point of entry to different types of cloud services.”   Gartner goes on to illustrate some key defining characteristics of a cloud broker.  According to Gartner, a CSB is a CSB if they genuinely perform:

  • Aggregation across VARS and IT Distributors
  • Integration with Systems Integrators
  • Customization for SI’s and Professional Services organizations

Gartner’s definition of Cloud Brokerage is by far the lightest among the analysts.  If you believe Lheureux, Cloud Brokerage is really just the modernization of the IT channel.

451 Group:

451 generally consider the category of CSB a part of broader market called cloud on-ramps.   In addition to providing some sort of provisioning technology, CSBs differ “in that they provide a value-added economic function, which matches workloads to the best execution venues.”

While I think 451 only provides cursory attention to cloud brokerage as a concept, the are at least more directionally correct in the sense that they see Brokerage providing a level of sophistication that is unique in the delivery of cloud services – namely the concept of ‘workload matching’.

Forrester:

I think Forrester has done the best job among the research outfits when it comes to taking a seriously deep look at the CSB market definition.   Forrester sees the CSBCloud Value Propositionsplaying a pivotal role in the future of the entire industry.   Analyst Stefan Reid’s taxonomy picture does a fantastic job of identifying the interaction of different players.

According to Forrester, “the simple broker model gains value only by comparing similar cloud provider options and using dynamic provisioning based on the actual spot prices of these resources.”  This sounds similar to 451 and Gartner in direction and tone.

But Forrester goes on to elaborate on what they see the as the evolution of the brokerage model.  “The full broker [model] goes far beyond [the simple broker].  It uses “cloud bursting” to provide IT users with higher value for a lower price.”  Cloud Bursting, Forrester explains, “is the dynamic relocation of workloads from private environments to cloud providers and vice versa.”   I’ll admit a slight sigh when I hear the cloud ‘bursting’ term (again), but I think Forrester has a great grasp on the technical role of the broker.

Gartner sees brokering as little more than modern distribution.   451 sees the concept as something they instinctually must cover but the details are hazy.   Forrester has obviously put the most thought into their analysis.  But the consistent underlying theme within these analysts is that brokerage insinuates a model whereby vendors inserting themselves and their technology between supplier and consumer to provide a layer of transactional value.

The debate and discussion goes much deeper than this and the potential for the cloud broker is much more profound.

In Part II of this post we will take a closer look at the role of the intermediary and who is likely to take up this position in the market.

 

 


Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By John Cowan

John Cowan is co-founder and CEO of 6fusion. John is credited as 6fusion's business model visionary, bridging concepts and services behind cloud computing to the IT Service channel. In 2008, he along with his 6fusion collaborators successfully launched the industry's first single unit of meausurement for x86 computing, known as the Workload Allocation Cube (WAC). John is a 12 year veteran of business and product development within the IT and Telecommunications sectors and a graduate of Queen's University at Kingston.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will discuss how from store operations...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, will discuss how they bu...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera offers a radically new approach to data management, where innovative software makes data infrastructure invisible, elastic and able to perform at the highest level. It eliminates hardware lock-in and gives IT organizations the choice to source x86 server nodes, with business model option...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, will discuss some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he’ll go over some of the best practices for structured team migrat...
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp emp...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of hybrid cloud enablement solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere Systems was created by file systems experts determined to reinvent storage by changing the way enterprises thought about and bought storage resources. With decades of experience behind the company’s founders, Avere got its ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, will discuss how by using...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japanese Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ruby Development Inc. builds new services in short period of time and provides a continuous support of those services based on Ruby on Rails. For more information, please visit https://github.com/RubyDevInc.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CAST Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CAST was founded more than 25 years ago to make the invisible visible. Built around the idea that even the best analytics on the market still leave blind spots for technical teams looking to deliver better software and prevent outages, CAST provides the software intelligence that matter ...
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...