Blueprint for the Intercloud

Twenty-one global companies and research institutions have joined the IEEE Intercloud Testbed and launched work to create a diverse, interoperable, and federated cloud ecosystem – but what does that mean?

According to the non-profit organization for the IT industry, CompTIA, over 90% of companies are claiming some form of cloud usage – with an increasing trend towards multi-cloud. The idea of outsourcing to an on-demand model has become ubiquitous and part of the new standard for IT architecture – which means the next evolutionary step for users is optimization.

Choice is good?

Look at any cloud service directory and you’ll see thousands of options available for end-users to satisfy their business needs whether it’s PaaS, public or private cloud IaaS for test/dev and deployment or on-demand software and SaaS offerings for a business unit. The result is an internal distributed system combining the various technologies, but is it flexibly built and following service oriented architecture? Or will it soon become archaic and cumbersome? Initial cloud deployments are painless but what happens when it’s time to adapt?

Reaching Nirvanixa

When you subcontract a cloud service provider, sometimes the decision to move on isn’t yours to make. With more of your applications, data, and business operations being outsourced to a cloud provider you need to make sure that your fates aren’t becoming intertwined. If you’re not careful the cloud can be giving you just enough rope to hang youself. This month we’re still seeing the dust settle as some organizations continue their search for a new enterprise storage provider after Nirvanix went belly-up.

Companies who are left to migrate their cloud storage face a number of hardships thanks to the gravity of their data. Write capability and transfer speeds alone make cloud storage migration a nightmare – but having to plan such a migration with little to no time has left many companies in doubt about whether to maintain on-premise storage, find a colo location, or continue due diligence on cloud storage service providers. While ComputeNext has plenty of options for cloud storage providers, and are more than willing to help in the decision making process – what we really need is the framework to eliminate the impact of such operational nightmares.

Why Intercloud

Consumer empowerment is the reason why we’ve built our marketplace, and it’s also a core concept of the intercloud conversation. Today users are able to access a marketplace like ours and compare cloud service providers at a macro level – reviewing the pros and cons of providers and their individual price vs. performance, SLA, uptime, and more with a single API for unified access. However, the most exciting is yet to come, and with continued research and development in this area the IEEE, ComputeNext, and Intercloud Testbed will be focusing on how to enable users the utmost in flexibility, making it possible to design cloud service architecture as a portfolio with interchangeable systems which can be optimized for the best mix at the right time.

That’s why on October 8th, 2013, 21 global companies and research institutions came together to announce the launch of the IEEE Intercloud Testbed.  The desire to satisfy real-world business problems or personal wants with on-demand services has led to a massive ecosystem of web-enabled services – how we weave these together to facilitate optimization is the intercloud.

So, which cloud services do you use today? How well do they communicate with each other? Tell us your thoughts on where the real world and intercloud should meet.