Welcome!

Eclipse Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, David H Deans, JP Morgenthal

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
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
Rodrigo Coutinho is part of OutSystems' founders' team and currently the Head of Product Design. He provides a cross-functional role where he supports Product Management in defining the positioning and direction of the Agile Platform, while at the same time promoting model-based development and new techniques to deliver applications in the cloud.
@CloudEXPO and @ExpoDX, two of the most influential technology events in the world, have hosted hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors since our launch 10 years ago. @CloudEXPO and @ExpoDX New York and Silicon Valley provide a full year of face-to-face marketing opportunities for your company. Each sponsorship and exhibit package comes with pre and post-show marketing programs. By sponsoring and exhibiting in New York and Silicon Valley, you reach a full complement of decision makers and buyers in ...
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.
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
LogRocket helps product teams develop better experiences for users by recording videos of user sessions with logs and network data. It identifies UX problems and reveals the root cause of every bug. LogRocket presents impactful errors on a website, and how to reproduce it. With LogRocket, users can replay problems.
Data Theorem is a leading provider of modern application security. Its core mission is to analyze and secure any modern application anytime, anywhere. The Data Theorem Analyzer Engine continuously scans APIs and mobile applications in search of security flaws and data privacy gaps. Data Theorem products help organizations build safer applications that maximize data security and brand protection. The company has detected more than 300 million application eavesdropping incidents and currently secu...
Rafay enables developers to automate the distribution, operations, cross-region scaling and lifecycle management of containerized microservices across public and private clouds, and service provider networks. Rafay's platform is built around foundational elements that together deliver an optimal abstraction layer across disparate infrastructure, making it easy for developers to scale and operate applications across any number of locations or regions. Consumed as a service, Rafay's platform elimi...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace.