Welcome!

@BigDataExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Roger Strukhoff, Pat Romanski, Harry Trott

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Article

Envisioning Cloud Brokering for a New Year

As 2013 begins, it's a natural time to explore where cloud brokering is headed

Hopefully you watched Forrester's Stefan Ried present his webinar on cloud brokering and the many opportunities for different kinds of companies to exploit this technology. Part of Stefan's conversation included an explanation of the evolution to a unified cloud broker. If you missed it, you can catch up with it here.

As 2013 begins, it's a natural time to explore where cloud brokering is headed. A cloud broker is the intersection of infrastructure, software and consultancy. Naturally, technology is a key enabler for a service provider adopting the broker role but it also impacts business models and consultancy.

This diagram summarizes concept into the high-level architecture discussed above:

In the blue is a proposed "Unified Cloud Broker Platform." This shows how a cloud broker can take existing applications, SaaS and IaaS, and create customer value and a new cloud portfolio from them. This isn't necessarily a single product but shows the elements needed to offer the component parts that a cloud broker would need in their "stack" to offer compelling cloud offerings to ISVs, SMEs, enterprises and cloud ecosystem partners:

  • A highly scalable, multi-tenant grid - required to allow the dynamic, "bursty" nature of cloud brokering and a solid foundation to cope with demand but also provide an efficient, effective multi-tenant core to the whole broker offering for multiple customers.
  • Integration and connectivity - the broker must be able to connect their on-premise systems, the customers' systems and cloud-based SaaS, IaaS and other cloud services together.
  • Unified provisioning and service aggregation - once connected to, the broker must be able to provision dynamic, customized and sometimes complex "bundles" of applications, processes, infrastructure and cloud offerings. Services must be aggregated together, regardless of source, to create the right offering for the customer.
  • Business process and cloud orchestration - increasingly, cloud services need to be orchestrated together; this might be in the form of a cloud supply chain but also business processes that the broker wants to offer as a value-added service. There is a growing trend for process-centric applications to be offered by a service provider or broker.
  • Value added services - taking the aggregated, orchestrated services and creating differentiated products, applications and service offerings is where the cloud broker can really start to generate value for the customer and create a high margin portfolio of offerings. These offerings are presented through channels and catalogues to the marketplace.
  • Application marketplace - the enterprise "app store" is where the broker can offer a catalogue of cloud services with an economy of scale and a single, convenient billing model. The next step for these marketplaces is to go beyond the reselling of standard, vanilla offerings and offer customized, higher value added products and services.
  • Enterprise mobility - offering enterprise mobility as part of the unified cloud broker platform allows mobile applications and mobility to be offered "as a service" by the broker to the customer. By combining all the capabilities from the broker "stack," the provider can offer rich, powerful mobile enterprise applications.

On the right of the diagram (in yellow) you can see the operations side of what a broker needs to do. This varies from billing and metering of the variety of services offered by the broker through to the day-to-day operations such as customer onboarding, order management and issue resolution. On top of that, business stakeholders and channel managers need visibility and intelligence into the operations, customer management and portfolio offerings.

On the left of the diagram (in green), you can see how an organization can use the unified cloud broker stack to create consultancy and professional services based offerings on top of the broker stack. By extending the capabilities of a unified cloud broker platform with PaaS, a service provider can create and take to market industry solutions such as financial services, energy/utilities, manufacturing/logistics, healthcare, etc. You can see this today from leading telcos, which are offering business and enterprise services. In fact this seems to be a dynamic area of M&A with telco service provider acquiring technology companies to build out their broker stack and create new industry vertical cloud offerings. These vertical solutions are typically then taken to market through consulting and professional services to customize and implement them for a customer's needs. The lengthy implementation cycles are greatly reduced as the capability is delivered from the cloud broker platform and customer specific customizations are composed and personalized thanks to a cloud delivery model and a well put together broker platform offering "mass customization."

While the cloud broker picture is still evolving, it's getting clearer, and it should crystallize throughout 2013.

More Stories By Matt Davies

Matt Davies is senior director of product marketing at Cordys, the enterprise cloud platform. He is involved in all areas of product messaging, technical positioning, communication both internal and external regarding Cordys products, and helping shape where the Cordys strategy goes next. He is on Twitter @mattdavies_uk.

@BigDataExpo Stories
SaaS companies can greatly expand revenue potential by pushing beyond their own borders. The challenge is how to do this without degrading service quality. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Adam Rogers, Managing Director at Anexia, discussed how IaaS providers with a global presence and both virtual and dedicated infrastructure can help companies expand their service footprint with low “go-to-market” costs.
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, a Developer Advocate with IBM Cloud Data Services, discussed...
University of Colorado Athletics has selected FORTRUST, Colorado’s only Tier III Gold certified data center, as their official data center and colocation services provider, FORTRUST announced today. A nationally recognized and prominent collegiate athletics program, CU provides a high quality and comprehensive student-athlete experience. The program sponsors 17 varsity teams and in their history, the Colorado Buffaloes have collected an impressive 28 national championships. Maintaining uptime...
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Part...
Presidio has received the 2015 EMC Partner Services Quality Award from EMC Corporation for achieving outstanding service excellence and customer satisfaction as measured by the EMC Partner Services Quality (PSQ) program. Presidio was also honored as the 2015 EMC Americas Marketing Excellence Partner of the Year and 2015 Mid-Market East Partner of the Year. The EMC PSQ program is a project-specific survey program designed for partners with Service Partner designations to solicit customer feedbac...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change t...
Digital Initiatives create new ways of conducting business, which drive the need for increasingly advanced security and regulatory compliance challenges with exponentially more damaging consequences. In the BMC and Forbes Insights Survey in 2016, 97% of executives said they expect a rise in data breach attempts in the next 12 months. Sixty percent said operations and security teams have only a general understanding of each other’s requirements, resulting in a “SecOps gap” leaving organizations u...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Creating replica copies to tolerate a certain number of failures is easy, but very expensive at cloud-scale. Conventional RAID has lower overhead, but it is limited in the number of failures it can tolerate. And the management is like herding cats (overseeing capacity, rebuilds, migrations, and degraded performance). Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing for the HGST Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit, discusse...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The pace of innovation, vendor lock-in, production sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and managing risk… In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Dan Choquette, Founder of RackN, discussed how CIOs are challenged finding the balance of finding the right tools, technology and operational model that serves the business the best. He also discussed how clouds, open source software and infrastructure solutions have benefits but also drawbacks and how workload and operational portability between vendors ...
The initial debate is over: Any enterprise with a serious commitment to IT is migrating to the cloud. But things are not so simple. There is a complex mix of on-premises, colocated, and public-cloud deployments. In this power panel at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Partnerships at Commvault; Dave Landa, Chief Operating Officer at kintone; William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interou...
"SpeedyCloud's specialty lies in providing cloud services - we provide IaaS for Internet and enterprises companies," explained Hao Yu, CEO and co-founder of SpeedyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
What does it look like when you have access to cloud infrastructure and platform under the same roof? Let’s talk about the different layers of Technology as a Service: who cares, what runs where, and how does it all fit together. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Lead Technology Evangelist at SoftLayer, an IBM company, spoke about the picture being painted by IBM Cloud and how the tools being crafted can help fill the gaps in your IT infrastructure.