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The cloud broker model - taking the complexity out of pursuing a multi-cloud strategy

By AJ Hartenberg, Portfolio Manager: Data Centre Services at T-Systems in South Africa.

AJ Hartenberg
AJ Hartenberg
The cloud has become an increasingly popular option for businesses looking to leverage new technology, infrastructure, applications and solutions via a service-based model, without the need for significant capital investment. However, with numerous cloud providers each specialising in specific areas, and organisations looking to harness best of breed solutions, many enterprises have taken to adopting services from multiple cloud providers. This multi-cloud environment, while it helps to spread risk, also adds significant complexity to the IT landscape. As a result, the cloud broker model has emerged, bringing together services and solutions from a variety of providers into a single platform to enable enterprises to leverage optimised offerings and pricing with maximum simplicity and flexibility.

According to analysts from Forrester Research, pursuing a multi-cloud strategy, whereby organisations leverage cloud services from more than one provider, is recommended in order to spread risk. More and more organisations are adopting this model, however, while it offers numerous benefits it also dramatically increases the complexity of the IT environment. Furthermore, it makes it increasingly difficult to manage, monitor and efficiently utilise cloud resources, and can also limit the fundamental benefits of cloud computing, such as flexibility and lower costs.

Cloud broker solutions solve this challenge by offering a centralised management portal housed within a highly secure platform. From this portal, enterprises can administer cloud services from multiple vendors via a single intuitive user interface, with support for any combination of cloud types, including public, private and hybrid scenarios. This not only enables organisations to simplify the management of their multi-cloud environment, it also prevents vendor lock in, as enterprises can easily switch their service from one provider to another.

Centralised management has a number of benefits, as it brings together cloud solutions from multiple vendors into a single service and workload management portal. From here, enterprises and even individual departments can set up, start and stop services, for increased scalability both up and down, on demand. Services can be provisioned as and when they are needed with the click of a mouse, for the flexibility necessary in today’s business environment, and complete visibility is always available across all cloud services and providers.

In addition, such multi-tenant environments enable enterprises to take advantage of the best mix of solutions, both public and private, to meet their needs. These can be managed together from the central portal. Searches can be performed based on a variety of requirements, to find the most suitable cloud provider, which helps to increase efficiency. Furthermore, organisations can leverage the highest levels of security delivered by specialist hosted cloud service providers who bring solutions together in a cloud broker model.

The cloud broker model enables enterprises to leverage all of the advantages of multi-cloud environments, without the challenges of managing and controlling solutions from multiple providers. It also enables simplified deployment of cloud integration solutions, which enable organisations to run and use business applications straight from the cloud securely and flexibly. Harnessing the benefits of this model, enterprises are empowered to meet ever-changing and increasingly complex business requirements in a flexible, agile way.

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Lundi 13 Avril 2015

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