|By Esmeralda Swartz||
|November 18, 2013 08:45 AM EST||
In a previous blog we introduced the topic of cloud-as-it-is versus cloud as-we'd like-it-to-be. The cloud services broker (CSB) business model is gaining momentum as one way to turn the cloud into as-we'd-like-it-to-be. CSB is a term used for the activity of brokerage and also for the software that supports that brokerage activity. What is it all about?
The Gartner guys have defined it in this way: "CSB is an IT role and business model in which a company or other entity adds value to one or more (public or private) cloud services on behalf of one or more consumers of that service via three primary roles including aggregation, integration and customization brokerage. A CSB enabler provides technology to implement CSB, and a CSB provider offers combined technology, people and methodologies to implement and manage CSB-related projects."
Here is my perspective, in less formal terms: when done well, cloud services brokerage takes the reality of the "cloud-as-it-is," removes some of the pain, mess, clutter and confusion, and brings it closer to the "cloud-as-we'd-like-it-to-be."
Gartner identifies three areas within brokerage: aggregation, integration and customization. Gartner provides nice explanations of these areas, but I have my own words that might be helpful for those new to this concept.
- Every cloud service that a company consumes brings with it the need for a set of management and administration tasks, such as provisioning, user access and authentication, monitoring SLAs and more. Across a corporation, users may need to access and manage 10 or perhaps dozens of different cloud services from multiple cloud service vendors. Clearly, life would be easier with a unified and consistent interface to all these services. Bringing all this together is an important task for cloud services brokerage: aggregation.
- The apps we decide to use in the cloud are, at first, independent chunks of software. To fulfill a business need, we need to make those apps communicate and work and play nicely with other applications. Some of those other applications are also up there in the cloud; others are Earth-based, kept in captivity in a company's own data center, where they are fed and watered by the IT team. Making all those applications work together in a way that fulfills a business need is another important task for cloud services brokerage: integration.
- Closely linked with integration, we will almost certainly have to set up the way that each one of our cloud apps work, so that it is aligned with the exact way we want to do business. This means tweaking and sometimes adding functionality, creating the kind of look and feel that users expect, and setting a host of parameters to ensure that the system behaves in accordance with our business rules, security standards and regulatory requirements. I would like to call this activity configuration, in line with the MetraTech philosophy that users and integrators should, in the 21st century, be able to set all this up in metadata. However some apps may need actual coding or the addition of helper applications, and so Gartner realistically calls this cloud service brokerage task: customization.
I can think of an additional task that is no doubt assumed as part of the above but isn't specifically mentioned. I already pointed out that one of the difficulties potential users have is choosing the optimal suite of apps from all those that are out there, and this can get in the way of cloud adoption. I think this is important enough to add as a fourth possible task for CSBs:
- A knowledgeable cloud service broker can help companies cope with the "tyranny of choice" by offering, as part of the CSB service, the ability to choose from various portfolios of apps known to work well together, possibly with industry-specific recommendations. Organizing and describing relevant applications and app bundles in some kind of cloud service catalog is a necessity if businesses are going to be able to navigate the universe of choices and make informed decisions; as such, there is something else CSBs should also facilitate: selection.
CSB software should be able to support one or all of the above tasks, orchestrating selection, aggregation, integration and customization for multiple cloud apps through one unified and consistent portal.
A CSB service provider (SP) may perform any or all of these tasks on behalf of a client and will probably use CSB software to do so. A CSB SP sounds like a brand new entity in the firmament. Sometimes those CSB SPs may be new companies set up to deliver those CSB services. However, at least initially, it is likely that most CSB SPs will be companies we already know: systems integrators, communications service providers, Internet service providers and cloud vendors. Since the move to cloud services reduces the need for IT departments to look after software, operating systems, virtual machines and racks of hardware in their own data centers, we expect more than a few large enterprises will set up cloud services brokerage teams in-house, using the IT experts who already understand their business needs.
In a future blog, I'll look at cloud services brokerage again, when I'll raise the all-important topic of monetization.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
Apr. 30, 2017 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,565
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Apr. 30, 2017 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,706
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
Apr. 30, 2017 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,847
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs oft...
Apr. 30, 2017 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 816
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
Apr. 30, 2017 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,435
As pervasive as cloud technology is -- and as persuasive as the arguments are for using it -- the cloud has its limits. Some companies will always have security concerns about storing data in the cloud and certain high-transaction applications will always be better suited for on-premises storage. Those statements were among the bottom-line takeaways delivered at Cloud Expo this week, a three day, bi-annual event focused on cloud technologies, adoption and associated challenges.
Apr. 30, 2017 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,286
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Apr. 30, 2017 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,827
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
Apr. 30, 2017 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,628
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
Apr. 30, 2017 05:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,661
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
Apr. 30, 2017 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 9,466
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Apr. 30, 2017 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 6,259
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor – all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Apr. 30, 2017 02:45 AM EDT Reads: 9,271
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Apr. 30, 2017 02:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,798
“DevOps is really about the business. The business is under pressure today, competitively in the marketplace to respond to the expectations of the customer. The business is driving IT and the problem is that IT isn't responding fast enough," explained Mark Levy, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Apr. 30, 2017 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 16,444
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
Apr. 30, 2017 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,480
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
Apr. 30, 2017 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,226
Building a cross-cloud operational model can be a daunting task. Per-cloud silos are not the answer, but neither is a fully generic abstraction plane that strips out capabilities unique to a particular provider. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Wolf, VP & Chief Technology Officer, Global Field & Industry at VMware, will discuss how successful organizations approach cloud operations and management, with insights into where operations should be centralized and when it’s best to decentraliz...
Apr. 30, 2017 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,130
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
Apr. 29, 2017 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,808
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Apr. 29, 2017 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,634
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
Apr. 29, 2017 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,678