#ccevent #Cloud brokers and the difference between choice and connectivity
The notion of a cloud brokerage, of an intermediate service that essentially compares and ultimately chooses a cloud provider based on customer-specific parameters is not a new one. Many may recall James Urquhart‘s efforts around what he termed a "pCard" more than two years ago, an effort aimed at defining interfaces that would facilitate the brokering of services between competing clouds based on characteristics such as price, performance, and other delivery-related services.
As we look toward a future in which federated clouds play a larger and more impactful role, we necessarily must include the concept of a cloud service broker that can intermediate on our behalf to assist in the choice of which cloud will meet an application’s needs at any given time.
But we cannot overlook the growing adoption of hybrid clouds and the need to broker certain processes through systems over which the enterprise has control, such as identity management. The ability to broker – to intermediate – authentication and authorization for off-premise applications (SaaS) is paramount to ensuring access to corporate data stored externally is appropriately gated through authoritative identity systems and processes.
Doing so requires careful collaboration between enterprise and off-premise systems achieved through an architectural solution: cloud brokers.
Such brokers are architecturally focused in nature, not service-focused, and thus serve a different market and different purpose. One facilitates choice in a federated cloud ecosystem while the other enables the connectivity required to architect a hybrid cloud ecosystem.
Both cloud brokers and cloud service brokers will be key components in future architectures, but we should not conflate the two as they serve very different purposes despite their very similar nomenclature.
I’ll be presenting "Bridges, Brokers, and Gateways: Exploring Hybrid Cloud Architectural Models" at Cloud Connect Chicago next week in which we’ll explore the notion of architectural brokers (as well as bridges and gateways) in more depth.