With the rapid proliferation of cloud service offerings and the adoption of cloud solutions by the industry, cloud brokerage is increasingly being seen as one of the critical success factors in the adoption and use of cloud services. Gartner says that the cloud broker can provide flexibility and opportunistic choices to prospective users of the cloud by offering them multiple similar services to select from. With the growing number of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers and provisioning models, an IaaS Broker can adopt innovative business models varying from a simple IaaS Comparator, and IaaS Referrer, to the more complex IaaS Reseller. In this project, we investigate the different business models for a cloud broker.
What is a Cloud Broker?
A cloud broker is essentially an intermediary between the cloud providers and the end users. Its purpose is to "provide flexibility and opportunistic choices” to the end-users (companies) and assist them in choosing the right cloud platform/provider that best suits their needs. It can use the knowledge of the customer’s specific needs in terms of infrastructure requirements, application performance, costs, security, geographic location, compliance and regulatory requirements and other requisite criteria, and match these requirements to the capabilities of the cloud service providers. Additionally, it can also provide users with a unified management interface to multiple cloud-providers enabling the deployment, monitoring and management of the applications on individual clouds and/or across multiple clouds.
Some Cloud Broker Services
The Cloud Broker can offer a number of services to both cloud service providers and consumers. In the current phase, we look at the services it can provide the prospective cloud consumers.
Comparison of Cloud Providers
The cloud broker maintains an active IaaS provider catalogue which contains details about the various providers including their capabilities, business models, pricing models and liabilities. It builds a cost/configuration matrix using a common set of metrics, which it uses to answer specfic user queries by matching the specific requirements of the IaaS consumers to the capabilities of the providers. Such a tool is particularly beneficial for enterprises who want to get a quick overview of the available cloud offerings. Read more here..
Evaluation of Custom Benchmark Applications
Although most IaaS providers publicly advertise the different service configurations they support and the corresponding prices, their precise nature and the resultant application runtime behaviour is still largely unknown. Given the blackbox nature of these cloud platforms it becomes important for service consumers to be able to test applications under different load conditions on the different cloud providers which may be located in dierent geographical regions to ensure that the QoS that has been promised to the end consumers is actually achievable. Read more here..
Mohan Baruwal Chhetri, Sergei Chichin, Bao Quoc Vo, Ryszard Kowalczyk: Smart Cloud Broker - Test drive the Cloud Before You Buy, Accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the Third Australasian Symposium on Service Research and Innovation (ASSRI'13), Nov 27 - 29, 2013, Sydney, Australia (Winner of Best Paper Award)
Mohan Baruwal Chhetri, Sergei Chichin, Bao Quoc Vo, Ryszard Kowalczyk: Smart Cloud Broker - Finding your home in the clouds, Accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE 2013), Nov 11 - 15, 2013, Paulo Alto, California, USA (CORE A)
Mohan Baruwal Chhetri, Sergei Chichin, Bao Quoc Vo, Ryszard Kowalczyk: Smart CloudBench - Automated Performance Benchmarking of the Cloud, Accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Cloud Computing (CLOUD 2013), 27 June - 2 July 2013, Santa Clara, California, USA (CORE A) (Accepted for publication on 19th April 2013)
Mohan Baruwal Chhetri, Bao Quov Vo, Ryszard Kowalczyk, and Cam Lan Do: Cloud Broker: Helping You Buy Better, Web Information Systems Engineering (WISE 2011), Lecture Notes in Computer Science LNCS 6997, pp. 341-342 (CORE A)