Multicloud Brokerage: Managing the Complexity of Choice

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Why the Enterprise Needs CSBs
  3. CSB Feature Breakdown
  4. The Cloud Broker Players
  5. Case Study: Texas Water Development Board
  6. Key Takeaways
  7. About David S. Linthicum

1. Summary

As enterprises continue their push into the world of cloud computing, many support architectures that leverage multiple cloud services and models. Because of the complexity of choice here, enterprises and service providers must now select a cloud services broker (CSB) to simplify the management and aggregation of those services.

The CSB-enablement market focuses on those technologies that broker private and public cloud services, including the capabilities defined in this report. This market will grow from $225.42 million in 2013 to $2.03 billion by 2018, at a CAGR of 55.3 percent. The overall global CSB market will grow from $1.57 billion in 2013 to $10.5 billion by 2018, representing a CAGR of 46.2 percent, according to MarketsandMarkets.

CSBs provide automated selection of the right cloud services to provide the best performance, reliability, security, and cost efficiency. Management services include the ability to autoprovision cloud services, analyze the services in terms of performance and availability, and even govern the services using preset policies. They also offer the ability to report on cloud service usage in order to illustrate which services provide the best price and performance. They enable the interoperability of public and private cloud-based services, and, in some cases, common management, governance, and security services. Finally, they may provide cloud marketplaces, data integration tools, and cloud service directories.

As with other technologies in the cloud space, each provider has its own approach and definition as to what a CSB is and what it does. While many companies have labeled themselves as a CSB, enterprises must dig a bit deeper into the core capabilities to see what’s really available. Many are repurposed data integration, directory, and marketplace products, and thus don’t provide the value that a true CSB should provide.

For the purposes of this report, we’ll focus on cloud broker services that provide the most important features. These include companies such as Gravitant, Jamcracker, Parallels, Ostrato, and Nervogrid.

Key highlights from this report include:

  • CSBs offer a great deal of value if they are leveraged in the context of a much wider cloud computing strategy. They provide a common mechanism to access public and private cloud computing services, ensuring that these services are both cost effective and perform up to expectations.
  • Some CSBs also provide governance and security services, including the ability to set policies around the use of services and manage identities.
  • The rapid growth of CSBs has caused some confusion in the emerging cloud computing space in terms of just what CSB is and does. Organizations should be mindful of CSBs that don’t provide the full range of expected capabilities.
  • Both internal and external CSBs are beginning to emerge. In many cases, enterprises will need to leverage one of each.
  • CSBs cross function with other cloud computing technology such as cloud management platforms, security, and governance platforms. In some cases, they interoperate. In others, they are redundant.
  • Organizations must do the business cases around the use of CSBs before jumping into this technology. While most enterprises will benefit from the use of CSBs, some will not.

Thumbnail image courtesy of fergregory/iStock.

Full content available to GigaOm Subscribers.

Sign Up For Free