Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How Cloud Service Brokers enable the Cloud Marketplace

Today, Mike Vizard from CTO Edge covers the Vordel Cloud Service Broker and mentions that:
"...customers are going to want to see an ecosystem of cloud computing services from multiple vendors that will allow them to dynamically allocate various jobs based on the capabilities and pricing offered by the cloud computing service. To accomplish that, IT organizations are going to have to deploy something that functions like a cloud computing broker at the edge of the enterprise."

This, of course, is exactly what the Vordel Cloud Service Broker provides. It mitigates against the differing proprietary interfaces provided by multiple Cloud providers. Once these proprietary interfaces are smoothed over by the Vordel Cloud Service Broker, this enables a number of exciting consequences. Mike Vizard mentions the usage of Amazon Spot Pricing as one of them.

Jonathan Kupferman has provided a good summary of the benefit of the Cloud Service Broker here:
With a plethora of cloud providers, each with a their own API/set of services/pricing model/etc it would be quite cumbersome for the end-user to programmatically access each service. Instead, the cloud broker creates the layer of abstraction between the user and providers so that the end users can see one cohesive view of all of the services. This way the customer doesn't have to worry about the nitty gritty like the different REST calls required to create a server, they just hit the launch button and a server appears on the desired cloud.

This allows the user of the Cloud Service Broker to deal with one interface, which represents a contract, and then the broker connect to the services on the client's behalf. As Chris Hoff puts it:
"In the case of the service broker, it’s their job to take these declarations of service definition (service contracts) and translate them across subscribing service providers who may each have their own proprietary interface."
As well as brokering the connection to multiple Cloud-based services which have differing interfaces, the Cloud Service Broker also manages the API Keys which are used to authenticate to the services. The Cloud Service Broker also meter the connections so that there are no billing surprises, and in order to provide an independent audit trail. Another key advantage of the Cloud Service Broker is that it allows for Service Level Agreement information to be collected for Cloud Services, from the point of view of the client. Cloud Service Providers, famously, are often loath to provide such SLAs.

Sign up for an invitation to download the Vordel Cloud Service Broker here.