Little kids are not the only ones making their wish-lists this holiday season. So are big name companies, like GE, Pfizer, Citigroup, and the Gap. These are just a few of the enterprises that are looking for easier ways to use the public cloud that will be consistent across the board, no matter the vendor. That’s what influenced the Open Networking User Group, or ONUG, to get together earlier this year and come up with a new Hybrid Cloud Working Group to discuss what they would like to see from cloud vendors like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.
This week at the annual fall meeting in New York, we’re still not sure if Christmas is coming for these enterprises. As per a few key themes discussed at the meeting, it seems that the elves at Santa’s technical workshop will have some serious work ahead of them.
Here’s what the enterprises asked for:
A Way to Integrate Workloads Across Public and Private Clouds
Nelson Tai, senior manager of hosting and connectivity services for Pfizer, said that the main concern for his group would be the ability to integrate workloads across public and private clouds. He said that Pfizer, which we all know is a pharmaceutical company, is currently migrating non-sensitive applications to the IaaS public cloud, and will be moving more as time goes on. Tai said that being able to move these data and apps across clouds would make for a more “cohesive design.”
Bob Wysocki, CTO of Digital Infrastructure for General Electric and a member of ONUG, said that there are some cloud brokerage services which allow organizations to deploy resources to multiple public IaaS clouds. Though this is a good feature, it doesn’t function very well. If cloud providers can bump it up to a higher-level layer 3 functionality, it would be a friendlier for users.
Common Encryption, Key Management and Common Northbound API Among Clouds
A whitepaper from ONUG’s Hybrid Cloud Working Group released mentioned that another thing enterprises are hoping to see from cloud vendors is ‘common encryption and key management among clouds.’ Having a an encryption for data going in and out of the cloud is one of the best ways to keep everything secure and thus enhance the user experience.
Additionally, enterprises also request that all cloud providers have a common northbound API. Most major IaaS cloud providers currently have their own native cloud management platform for deploying resources. Each one, therefore, is unique. However, if cloud providers can change this so that there is a common API across providers, users can control basic IaaS resources to consolidate their data.
A Standard Language and Policy
Currently, different products and services use different names across multiple providers. This means there is not one language and the tracking and auditing of hybrid clouds can be hard for users to understand. If there could be a common language as well as a standard policy, things would be again, easier to use.
Unfortunately, Just because the ONUG is requesting these changes to a more hybrid cloud, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to happen. It might take a few more holiday seasons before the enterprises get what they ask for. That being said, the fact that these people came together to create a more unified voice to ask for what they want, will surely help us see changes happen faster.