Moving data between multiple clouds, still pie in the sky?
A suite of cloud brokerage offerings from IT service provider NJVC meet National Institute of Standard and Technology guidelines that describe how organizations can copy and move data as well as migrate applications between different cloud providers, according to NJVC officials.
The measures and use cases are described in a draft report by NIST’s Standards Acceleration to Jumpstart Adoption of Cloud Computing Working Group, also known as SAJACC, presented during NIST’s recent Cloud and Big Data Workshop.
The SAJACC project, launched three years ago, seeks to generate concrete data about how different kinds of cloud system interfaces can support portability, interoperability and security. Through use cases, the SAJACC project helps develop high-quality standards that address these areas.
One use case, for example, addresses the ability to dynamically dispatch workloads to the appropriate infrastructure-as-a-service cloud provider when an agency has established accounts with multiple providers. In this scenario, the agency user wants to perform a job on the cloud that can offer the best performance, with the greatest reliability, at the lowest cost. The NIST use case describes how a user would set up a test workload on each provider’s infrastructure and compare performance outputs.
After comprehensive analysis, NJVC determined that its Cloudcuity suite of services meet or exceed the use-case requirements described in SAJACC’s draft report, according to Kevin Jackson, vice president and general manager of NJVC cloud services. A central part of the suite, the Cloudcuity Management Portal, is a cloud broker service that lets federal agencies test, design and price an array of cloud services from different providers before spending money and committing to large-scale migration.
“We start off as a premise that enterprises will need multiple cloud service providers,” Jackson said. At a minimum, an organization will probably have its own private cloud along with a public cloud provider or, maybe, two private clouds. This could involve the exchange of data or the brokering of services between two cloud providers.
Five cloud providers are on the Cloudcuity brokerage platform: Amazon Web Services, Amazon GovCloud, GoGrid, Savvis and Terremark. As a result, NJVC was particularly interested in determining if Cloudcuity aligned with SAJACC’s use cases for security and interoperability, which focuses on the need to copy data between providers, dynamically dispatch infrastructure and migrate applications from one cloud service provider to another.
Not all the interoperability and portability capabilities are automated at this point since the brokerage platform is closely tied to the cloud providers’ capabilities, Jackson said. Some cloud providers are further along in automation than others. Plus, there are no accepted automation standards among the cloud providers.
However, “when an automated process is not available — since we understand the processes of the different cloud providers — we’re able to quickly design a manual process,” Jackson said.