▶ Recognizing the cloud computing trend
in the cloud
▶ Understanding what cloud services brokerage (CSB) is about
The Cloud Goes Mainstream
For years network architects have used clouds in network diagrams to depict wide area networks (WAN) and the Internet.
A cloud services broker, like your favorite TV meteorologist, can help your business make sense of the different clouds and cloud systems and prepare appropriately for a “rainy day.” This chapter delves into the growing cloud computing trend, and what cloud services brokerage is — and what it isn’t.
ost people think of puffy, cotton ball-like “fair weather” cumulus clouds when talking about clouds in general — and metaphorically expect that same “fair weather” experience when talking about cloud computing. But like clouds in nature, not all cloud services and cloud services providers are the same. For example, the cumulonimbus is an awesome and powerful cloud, capable of producing mighty thunderstorms and often extending into the stratosphere with a majestic anvil plume. It can also launch golf ball-sized hail stones many miles and unleash a maelstrom of deadly tornados. And a stratus cloud can immerse an entire city in a dense fog for days.
▶ Going beyond B2B integration with enterprise application integration
In This Chapter
Defining Cloud Services Brokerage
Cloud Services Brokerage For Dummies, Liaison Edition
The cloud — dynamic, nebulous, and at times unstable — proved to be a particularly apt symbol to represent the boundless complexities of the Internet. An architect could focus on the minute details of a local area network (LAN) and simply drop in a few communications links — depicted by lightning bolts — to connect an enterprise to the Internet! Today, “the cloud” has become part of our modern lexicon, with major technology companies like Apple, Google, IBM, and Microsoft advertising cloud services during our favorite prime time TV shows and beckoning us to the cloud! In fact, many consumers are already using the cloud to store their photos and music, or to back up their home computer files. Likewise, many businesses are increasingly turning to thirdparty cloud services providers to host various back-office systems and B2B (business-to-business, for example, partner and supplier management) processes, such as their customer relationship management (CRM) databases and applications. Thus, the cloud now represents much more than a WAN or the Internet — it provides services that include systems, data, and applications that were once traditionally located onpremises, inside the enterprise firewall. Cloud computing is fast becoming the wave of the future for both home and business computing with widespread adoption of a few high-profile cloud services. Because of this growing acceptance, we can expect an explosion of diverse cloud services providers in the coming years. These providers will rise up to meet the demand of organizations ready to embrace cloud computing technology more fully and outsource many facets of their business to the cloud. Be aware, however, that expanding the use of cloud services for both your back-office systems and B2B processes requires a high level of coordination and integration. It’s one thing for these different services to exist as independent islands that never need to interconnect, or as loosely connected point-topoint interfaces. That’s easy to do. However, when you outsource interdependent business processes to multiple cloud services providers, it becomes very complex, very quickly. That can mean adding staff and resources — whether it’s for writing code or just managing the integration process — which can negate many of the benefits of cloud computing.
Chapter 1: Defining Cloud Services Brokerage
Back-office systems and B2B processes — both on-premise and in the cloud — have interdependencies. Business...