Connected in the Cloud
As more organizations consider moving to the cloud, questions continue to arise related to security, performance, reliability and compliance. It's not easy, especially for large enterprises to release the control they are used to with on premise infrastructures and solutions.
But moving to the cloud can offer a number of benefits, including reduced IT costs and new business opportunities. Cloud Platform and service providers know the value they can bring to the table. They also know that in order to be successful they need to be able to work with other cloud platform providers. Connectivity among services between partners and solution providers enable an organization to work easily across traditional boundaries.
Microsoft has described their commitment to connectivity in a number of ways. Jean Paoli, general manager of Interoperability Strategy at Microsoft said "I personally think it’s critical to acknowledge that the cloud is intrinsically about connectivity. Because of this, interoperability is really the key to successful connectivity."
Elements of Interoperability
Microsoft has outlined what it believes are the four key elements for a cloud platform to be interoperable, thus enabling connectivity among services and solutions.
Some of the ways in which Microsoft demonstrates their committment to these four elements include:
- Support for and participation in standards organizations such as OASIS, W3C, ECMA, ISO and OpenID.
- Support for data portability using OData.
- Support for multiple languages including .NET, Java, PHP and Ruby when developing cloud applications.
- They also make it easy to move data in and out of SQL Azure, Windows Azure Storage and Live Contacts using an API.
- The ability to manage identity across on-premise and cloud based applications.
Paoli presented one of the keynotes at OSCON. Called Open Data, Open Cloud, here's what he had to say:
The Cloud Must Be Open
Microsoft isn't the only cloud platform provider to understand the need for interoperability. Rackspace also knows the value that comes from working together to provide open solutions for organizations. That's why they took the step to move their cloud platform to a completely open source model.
The hosting platform vendor is teaming up with NASA and other technology leaders to provide an open platform, called OpenStack, for any organization wanting to create and offer cloud computing capabilities (public or private).
We are founding the OpenStack initiative to help drive industry standards, prevent vendor lock-in and generally increase the velocity of innovation in cloud technologies,” said Lew Moorman, President, Cloud and CSO at Rackspace.
While the approaches are very different, it is clear that any platform vendor that wants to be successful needs to open, while at the same time ensure the organizations they work with that their data will continue to be secure and the environment reliable.