Cloud computing has taken the technology world by storm. Today, everything is available on cloud – applications, storage, computing, etc. Numerous firms are working hard to develop their cloud offerings, each claiming to be distinct and better than another.
For a cloud user, this is both good and bad news. Good because the technology is improving rapidly, new applications are available line never before, IT managers have started understanding how to use cloud for their benefits, numerous firms in the competition also ensures that prices are checked and innovation wheel keeps rolling.
But there is a flip side too – too many choices mean confusion, it also means problems in seamlessly using multiple cloud vendors (as there is no set standards in cloud right now). There are problems in integration, compatibility, integrity, security and may more. This is where a Cloud Service Broker comes into picture. A Cloud Service Broker essentially will broke services between consumer and providers of a service. A broker is not a new concept, it has been around in almost every industry. It seems the time has come for it to be part of cloud computing too.
Key Roles of Cloud Brokers
There are various roles a Cloud Service Broker can play but according to industry experts, there are three key roles / categories these brokers can cater to. These are also the key pain points for a cloud service consumer.
Providing Intermediation services : Such cloud brokers will be providing value add services over and above the existing services provided to the consumer. They may assist cloud service consumers in billing and pricing process.
Providing Aggregating services : Aggregation is a big challenge in cloud computing space today, with multiple vendors and their specific services. An aggregation broker service is targeted to solve this problem. Simply speaking, a aggregation broker will collect multiple services and combine them in various ways. It will perform the task to ensuring that data flows across these services and security issues are also taken care of. One key property of this category is that the services brokered are fixed and do not change often. The key challenge will be to handle expectation of consumers and multiple providers
Providing cloud Arbitrage services : This is similar to cloud service aggregation but while in previous case the services brokered were fixed, in this case they are not. They are flexible and change based on the opportunities available.
What experts are saying ..
No one is denying the fact that cloud brokerage is crucial for the growth of cloud computing industry. It enhances the confidence of the cloud consumers in using cloud services. It is expected that more and more cloud services companies will partner with cloud brokers in future.